With October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, UR student organizations are not allowing this cause and the urgency to advocate against domestic violence go down without a fight.
With events like Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority’s Domestic Violence week and the Black Students’ Union’s program dedicated to advocating against domestic violence, campus awareness on this issue is ubiquitous.
In the past month, not a day passed by when I was able to forget about the fact that this month was devoted to that cause alone.
With fliers on every Residential Life board, doorway and bathroom stall, it was almost impossible to avoid. Just as the posters remain unavoidable, so remains the issue.
Domestic violence comes in different shapes and sizes and does not discriminate according to race, color, creed, sexual orientation or physical appearance.
Some think that there’s no way that the hot girl surrounded by all the guys at the frat party can be a victim and wrongly believe that it is the unkempt, tousled and overweight girl in your physics class who is more likely to experience it. This is inaccurate, and although I can attest to once being one of those close-minded individuals, I was not proven any more wrong or ignorant until I too stared into the face of domestic violence.
An old best friend of mine from back home had the face of an alabaster doll, so flawless and smooth that it was like an untouched milk chocolate bar.
She had the slim figure that any girl would die for and a vivacious personality that said, ‘I’m confident and unbreakable”
One day, so unexpectedly, that same personality broke into a million unattachable pieces. After that first night he mercilessly threw her onto the bed, her personality just kept shattering.
As she remained locked in the confines of this not only heartbreaking, but soul-rattling, mind-crushing, earth-shattering relationship, no one could ever guess that it all started from one play fight that escalated into her very own fourth World War. No one could tell the two of them anything. You couldn’t solve the problem, but at the naive age of 17, they too couldn’t properly solve it themselves.
You couldn’t tell her that the guy she fell so hard for was raping her when he forced her down on his comforter, undressed her and had sex with her, despite her pleads against it. There was no way to tell her that he was abusing her when he cornered her and told her that if she left she was never allowed back into his life; the life that she had now made her whole world.
After I had exhausted all hope and help for my dearest best friend, I remained vulnerable and weak myself, because although she was feeling the most pain, I too was bearing heartache.
Emotional and mental deterioration began to knock at my door. I could feel myself going crazy because I could see what was wrong from the outside looking in, but remained powerless. I could see the pain, the hurt and the excuses she made to take the blame off of him and place it on herself.
Just as I could see it all from the outside, from the inside looking out, she saw a girl, me, trying to rescue her and be her refuge from something she never had intentions of being rescued from and a refuge she never had the intention of harboring to.
It was a sad, desolate melody that I was forced to listen to, and whenever I wanted to close my ears and block out what sounded so sweet to her and sounded so bitter to me, it continued to amplify that much more. The song of her life kept playing on repeat and even I, her best friend, could not make it stop. It was a frightening melody that I was forced to listen to until college took me away to a place called Rochester.
So I sat back and let the music play, because I knew that I couldn’t save her and that she’d ultimately have to be her own hero or remain her very own worst enemy.
Cooper is a member of the class of 2012.