In my community, I have seen a lot of violence. I’ve seen families cry because they have to bury a family member because of gun violence. I’ve seen verbal abuse make people feel so worthless they want to commit suicide. Out of all of these types of violence, domestic abuse has affected me the most.
When I was younger, I used to see my auntie get beaten by her husband almost every day. Every time he finished hitting her, he would rape her. I used to sit with my aunt and hold her while she cried. I would tell her everything was going to get better, but I was afraid for her. She would always take him back even though my family would tell her she needs to leave. Finally, after 7 years, she finally called the police. Today, she has three children, is in college for nursing and he is in prison.
Watching the abuse my auntie went through really affected me. I worried about being in relationships and didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like. I worried about being hit and what would happen if I grew up and was in the same situation.
Over time, I began to learn what a healthy relationship looked like. A healthy relationship is built on honesty, trust, communication, and no violence whatsoever. My advice to someone who is in an abusive relationship would be to tell someone because no one deserves to be beaten. I would let them know that after you leave, you might be hurting but after that hurt is gone you will feel so much relief.
I would get rid of violence in my community because no one should get hurt in any type of way. No one should get bullied, and no one should be afraid to leave their home or go to school because they think someone is going to hurt them. People who witness and experience violence are often traumatized and I want to change that. As a member of student council, I help put together meetings about bullying. I want everybody’s voice to be heard. I want to help change my community into something better.