KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Victims of domestic violence find freedom and safety far away from the hands or words of their abusers. But what happens when they are forced to see their abusers on a frequent basis?
That struggle is one of the subjects touched on Thursday night at Dating Violence 101 – a seminar held on the UMKC campus as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Students learned how to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. Many times experts say victims don’t realize they are in one. They also learned how to navigate barriers to freedom, such as when an abuser lives in the same dorm or is in the same class.
“First, believe them and validate them, but also, do not ask blaming questions, or do not put the blame on the victim; meaning 'Why are you still with this person who's abusing you?'” Mason said. “Many times, that will cause the victim to never disclose to you again.”
Mason’s best advice for students – always have a support system and a safety plan.
“The safety plan is the most important part of that. The safety plan to help them not only in class, ion the dorm room, but outside this community.”
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.