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Bruised But Not Broken

Reports of domestic violence have been circulating the world like a contagious disease in recent months, as incidents of violence have sparked the attention of the media and the public. Reports of interpersonal abuse have flooded social media this year, led by the cases involving NFL players. The NFL suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after a video was released showing him assaulting his then-fiancee in an altercation at a New Jersey casino. Adrian Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings, was suspended a whole season without pay after he admitted hitting his four-year-old son.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Roughly 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year, and 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

“Jealousy,” said Lilyana, a former spouse of an abuser. “It [the abuse] stemmed from jealousy. That what it manifested from at that time. I’m sure it came from something he was dealing with, but I didn’t realize at the time.”

Lilyana said she remembers wondering what she was going to do if she left the marriage. At the time she had a job and owned a business, but that business had ties to her husband, and she said she was too young to have much confidence in her ability to live on her own. “The abuser plays on any insecurity you might have,” she said. Lilyana said her daughter’s protection and safety was her main concern, and when she felt that was compromised, or could be compromised, that was the signal for her that the marriage could not go on.

“It’s a painful memory,” she said, “but I can put it in perspective, and know that it could happen to anybody. People are human and they make mistakes. Some people have psychological issues they’ll always deal with, maybe because of their upbringing.”

Theresa Knott, an Assistant Professor in CSUN’s Department of Social Work, said a rocky, unstable upbringing could be linked to a person becoming violent as an adult. Most of the time, Knott said, the victim has nothing to do with the behavior and actions of the abuser.

“Domestic abuse, referred to as interpersonal violence, is related to control,” Knott said. “When an individual feels that the environment is out of their control, they tend to try to bring it back into their control.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. Another reality of domestic violence is that females who are between the ages of 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk of non-fatal intimate partner violence.

Los Angeles Police Department Detective Stephanie Diaz said she receives nearly 10 to 20 domestic violence radio calls a day into the Devonshire Division.

“Alcohol and drugs are the precursors to domestic violence,” Diaz said. Many abusers have a history of abusing substances, which results in them lashing out, and reacting a certain way, consciously and unconsciously.

“We need to change the narrative,” Knott said. “We speak a lot about women and why they stay, and I think the discourse needs to focus on the perpetrators of abuse.”


Moderator: Daniel Max

Producer: Stephanie Murguia

Anchor: Candice Curtis

Reporters: Bryan Ramirez, Stephanie Murguia, Ugochi Obinma

Social Media Editor: Gabriela Rodriguez

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