by Shasta Nelson · 07 Sep 2020 · 3 min read
Reflections for the hip-hop songstress.
As it turns out, relationship abuse does not discriminate. Domestic violence can happen to any woman of any race, religion, education level, income, or age. A victim of relationship abuse can look like anyone — even Miss New Jersey USA.
Your best friend just got back from her honeymoon and you can't wait to hear all about it, but she still hasn't replied to your text. Now weeks have gone by, and all you've gotten was a quick response. You think to yourself: "Did I drink too much at the wedding?" "Was my present lame?" "Did I say something wrong?" No, chances are nothing you have done or are doing right now is wrong. You've just entered a different phase in your relationship: the spare tire.
In early March, stay-at-home orders were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly people across the world were instructed to quarantine at home. For most people, inside the walls of their home is a place of security and solace. For others, home can be a dangerous place of abuse.In an instant, domestic violence victims around the world became isolated with their abusers causing domestic violence reports to increase by 35% in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. With social isolation and the stress of the unknown, the coronavirus pandemic started to breed dangerous situations at home where violence may have never previously shown its face. Domestic violence quickly became an epidemic within the pandemic.
Growing up I was trained to think that relationship abuse was purely physical. This way of thinking that I and so many other young people have come to know has led unhealthy relationship behaviors go unrecognized and tolerated simply because we were not given the tools to identify them.