Editorial: Persistent problem

Last month, a group of Wilton High students and their adult advisers attended the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s Voices of Courage luncheon, which raised money for the center’s vital services to abuse victims.
Since that day, May 14, The Bulletin has reported on six incidents of relationship abuse, most of which involved violence. Undoubtedly, there are more cases each week that go unreported. It’s important to remember, these are the cases that involve some sort of violence, whether it is hitting, choking, or some other instance of one person laying their hands on another. These are the ones where police make an arrest and therefore they are publicly reported.
There are many other instances where police are called and the conflict is a verbal one. In these cases, the officer uses his or her discretion on how to handle the incident.
But that does not mean there is no intimidation, which is also a form of abuse.
Abuse reaches across all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a nationwide survey showed nearly 10% of high school students reported being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
While most victims are girls or women, boys and men are just as susceptible to suffering emotional or verbal abuse, having their reputations ruined, being stalked, having personal property stolen or damaged.
This issue usually gets a lot of exposure in the fall, when October is designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month. But violence occurs every month.
It won’t end unless victims step forward, admit to what is happening to them, understand it is wrong, understand it is not their fault, and ask for help.
It won’t end until abusers understand what they are doing is abusive, they truly want to stop, and they get professional help.
Free, confidential help is available from the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. The hotline number is 800-774-2900. It is manned 24/7.