By Chanel Watson
It took Ebony a while to realize she was in an abusive relationship.
“The abuse doesn’t happen until he knows he’s got you under his spell,” said Ebony, who agreed to be interviewed by The Lincolnian if her real name was not used. She is not a Lincoln University student.
“After a while, you figure he’s hitting you because of the things you’re doing and that you are the bad one in the relationship, when really it’s the other way around,” Ebony said.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that 21 percent of college students reported in 2007 having experienced dating violence by a current partner. Another 32 percent experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
Lincoln University is far from immune to dating violence on campus, so sophomore Taylor Garnett recently shot a public-service announcement on the topic.
“I am unaware to how prominent it is on campus, but I believe it does exist enough to be a big topic,” said Garnett, PSA Director of Lion Media.
The PSA stars freshmen Alea Binder and Darnell Sherman. The story depicts partner abuse from both the male and female point of view. While 85 percent of abuse victims are women, about 15 percent are men, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“I think men set standards for themselves in their head as to what it takes for a woman to do for it to become justifiable for them to put their hands on them,” Garnett said.
Sherman said he learned about domestic violence through working on the PSA.
“It’s all about dominance,” he said. “Men are dominant creatures. They need the woman to know that they are in charge. And unfortunately for some, the only way of showing they are in charge of somebody is by putting their hands on somebody.”
Garnett’s PSA advises victims to speak out and tell a friend or family member about the abuse as soon as possible.
That was difficult for Ebony.
“Because you loved him, it makes it hard for you to tell anyone about his ways because you knew he was a good person,” she said.
Ebony finally left her abuser.
“It took me getting hit in the face to realize I couldn’t take it anymore,” she said.