Sun, Feb 25, 2018 03:57 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-10-31 communities
Domestic violence essay winners
PRESTONSBURG The Floyd County Community Council on Domestic Violence and the Floyd County Bar Association announced the winner of the 2003 Domestic Violence Awareness Essay Contest at the Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil held at the Jenny Wiley Festival earlier this month.

Middle school and high school students were asked to address one or more of the following three questions: What is Domestic Violence, Who is affected by Domestic Violence, and Why is it important to have a Day of Unity Against Domestic Violence?

In the middle school division, Leanndra Padgett received first place, which included a $100 US Savings Bond donated by First Commonwealth Bank.

Krystal Brooke Newsome earned first place in the high school division and also received a $100 US Savings Bond donated by First Commonwealth Bank.

Two students, Whitney May and Savannah Reno, earned the exact same combined scores for second place, and both received $75 US Savings Bonds donated by US Bank. Danielle Ousley received third place and a $50 US Savings Bond donated by Citizens National Bank.

Padgett, May, and Reno are all students in Ruth Castle's class at Wesley Christian, Ousley attends Adams Middle School and Newsome is a senior at Prestonsburg High School.

The Floyd County Community Council on Domestic Violence meets the third Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. in the old courthouse law library. Anyone interested in working to end domestic violence is invited to attend.

Following are the two first-place essays:

Domestic violence is real and it isn't something to joke about or be taken lightly. D.V. is the most common of all violent crimes in the U.S. There are twenty-four hour toll free crisis lines, a safe shelter for women and children, and support groups to aid victims of D. V.

Some people don't know what domestic violence is. Mental and physical abuse is domestic violence. Most people don't consider verbal put downs to be abuse. Physical abuse can be so bad that it can even lead to death. Warning signs of physical abuse may include bruises, broken bones, welts, and craving attention which they may act out to get.

D. V. doesn't only affect the abused person but everyone else in the household. It occurs to both men and women. It can happen to anyone. Whether your married or dating.

I think it is important to have a day of unity against domestic violence to let people know that it is out there and let them be aware that people can help them. Educate people about the warning signs that may be involved. Anyone suffering abuse may have the following characteristics - low self-esteem, loneliness, poor self-concept, anger, self-blame, constant fear and confusion, and inability to trust. Children living in violent homes are at higher risk of suicide attempts, running away, or using drugs. The children in the home may grow up and be violent.

One of my friends started dating this guy and became a victim. I never thought that someone close to me could be getting abused and not want to end the relationship before it gets worst. When she met him she thought he was cute and charming. Things were going good, or so she said, but I started noticing bruises that she seemed to never have before he came along.

I realized that something was wrong three months into the relationship because she wasn't talking to me. She was afraid to tell any of her friends what was really going on. One day we were talking in the hallway, he grabbed her arm and pulled her away. She later informed me that he didn't want her to talk to me any more because he didn't like me.

She talks to me but we're not close like we use to be. She once told me that he had gotten mad at her for talking to someone. When she started taking up for herself, he hit her repeatedly, and she told him to stop. She jumped out of his truck. He followed after her and told her her was sorry and it would never happen again. She believed him, but later on in the relationship she told me that he had forced himself on her. He has stolen her keys and had copies made to her parents house. He tells her that no one else would have her and that she's fat. She recently got her license, he doesn't want her to drive so she told him she threw them away. He puts her down in front of his and her friends. He is emotionally and physically abusive and no one deserves that.

If anyone you know is going through violence tell someone that could help them or you if you are being abused. They say it's out of love, but if they loved you would they do it?

Krystal Brooke Newsome

* * *

Domestic violence is abuse that can affect the whole family. Arguing is not the same as domestic violence as long as it does not get physical. It is not abuse when children are spanked as long as a line is drawn between discipline and violence.

Domestic violence not only affects the abuser and those being abused, but also those around them. When a parent is abused by their spouse and a child witnesses the abuse, or the child is being abused then he or she is more likely to grow up to be an abuser as well. Children witnessing abuse usually do not do as well in school or they have discipline problems. Children that live with men and women that abuse their spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend are 1500 times more likely to be abused. (Information provided by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistant, Family Violence: Interventions for Justice System). Most people are not aware of what a problem domestic violence is. In some cases people don't even know when their loved ones are abusing others or being abused. One common misconception is that men are always the abusers. While the majority of the time men are the abuser, women and even teenagers can and do abuse others. Even people not related can abuse each other.

People of all ages, gender, religion, and race are affected by domestic violence. It doesn't matter who you are, no one should have to put up with what thousands of men, women, and children have to deal with daily. This isn't a new problem! Domestic violence has be in going on for many, many years. Because of the education people are receiving about domestic violence this subject is being brought into light.

Many things can trigger domestic violence. Most of the people that abuse others were in families that had some sort of domestic violence, and viewed it when they were young. Some of the time when people are acting violent they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most women that are abused are part of an intimate relationship. (An intimate relationship is when someone is married or has a boyfriend or girlfriend.)

Only small portions of the domestic violence assaults are reported to the police. I think this is wrong. With so many police officers around, I think people should be able to find when someone is being abused. I think more emphasis should be put on finding these men and women. I think people in the hospitals should try to find out if certain injuries were caused by abuse The abusers should all be punished for their crimes.

I think it is important to have a day of unity against domestic violence because it is an issue that is often overlooked and it needs to be addressed. If more people learn about domestic violence, they may realize how wrong it is and then teach their children about it and prevent the abuse from continuing.

If you or someone you know is being abused you should call 911, exercise your legal rights and get help for yourself and your family. Even if you are not being abused you still need to know what domestic violence is and how to seek help.

Leanndra Padgett

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