Abusive relationships hurt everyone

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dear Editor,

In February, many people observe Valentine’s Day — a day that celebrates love! For many women this year, Valentine’s Day will be the same as any other day, a day spent living in fear of a violent partner or ex-partner.

It’s not the candy or the heart-shaped cookies we love on Valentine’s Day, but the culture of giving and loving.

Relationships usually don’t begin with violence but with gifts and romance.

For victims of domestic violence, gifts of flowers and candy come to represent apologies and empty promises that the abuse won’t happen again.

But, for some women in shelters and transitional housing, Valentine’s Day is heart-breaking and lonely. For victims of abuse, Valentine’s Day means salt on an open wound.

Abusive relationships usually do not begin with violence, but often with gifts, flowers and romance.

This then deteriorates into a pattern of abusive and controlling behavior, which often increases in severity over time. SafeHouse believes that love and relationships should be based on equality and respect, not violence and abuse.

True love doesn’t hurt. Domestic violence doesn’t just affect the victims, it affects us all. If you or someone you know is being abused, please call SafeHouse at 669-7233 or visit our website at Safehouse.org for more information.

Valencia Albright

Safehouse of Shelby County