On Friday, October 1st at SMCC the group Through These Doors hosted a seminar on Domestic Violence. This organization is a young adult abuse prevention program
They are part of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. They offer support groups, Legal advocates, Shelter, Education, and Protection From The Abuse. The 24 hour Helpline for Through These Doors is 1-800-537-6066. Their Instagram is @TTDTeen. Campus Security is 207-741-5553.
Through These Doors can, if you allow it, work with or without the campus. These services are offered to all students on and off SMCC campus. People from all walks of life can experience domestic violence, regardless of age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, wealth, education, profession, and religion. This applies to the fellow students of SMCC and any other campus. Domestic violence can be a confusing and even scary topic for some, more often than not cases go unreported. That leaves people vulnerable, and without aid.
It is important to recognize what domestic violence is and who it affects in order for you to prevent it. Domestic violence isn’t just present in romantic relationships it can take place in family households. Domestic violence is a pattern of harmful controlling behavior used to gain power over other members in the relationship. Domestic abuse comes in various forms, it isn’t just physical and emotional abuse although those and threatening you as well as those you know, are common in cases of domestic violence. Isolation and permission giving, controlling who and what you interact with, they get annoyed/angry when you spend any of your time with family and friends. They force you to check in with them and make decisions for you. One common characteristic is when they break into one or more of your accounts and demand to have all of your passwords.
Some abusers try to minimize/ deny or outright blame their victims. They blame, disregard your concerns and act like there isn’t any abuse. They give dozens of various excuses for the way they act, for example they say that it was “jealousy”. They also try to convince everyone including you that it’s your fault for what they do. In cases where there is Economic abuse they will keep you from getting a job, control how you use your money as a way to keep you dependent.
The ideal relationship between people should be built on trust, communication, and respect. Partners are meant to equally share the power that they have, and responsibilities. People should encourage personal growth and independence. One’s behavior is never meant to be threatening, that is where communication is key, it allows people to have difficult conversations in a civil manner. Healthy relationships move at a comfortable pace.
It can be hard to help those you know in situations like these, but it is important to remember to believe and listen not only to what they say but also to how they say it. Body language can speak the truth louder than words. Above all your responses matter, no one deserves to be hurt, try to understand from their point of view, and offer to help in any way that you can. Documentation of domestic abuse can help in legal battles.
The Maine Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-888-568-1112
For South Portland Students the Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine are 1-800-313-9900
For Midcoast Students the Sexual Assault Response Services of Midcoastal Maine are 1-800-822-5999
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ suicide prevention) is 1-866-488-7386.