Every person in the world has been in some kind of relationships, said Jennifer Coulson, coordinator of domestic violence victim’s assistance program for YWCA in Okla. City. Coulson spoke on Wednesday to a group of 30 for the college’s brown bag series.
“We are born into the world into a relationship…,” said Coulson. Relationships are important to people, because they are a large part of our everyday lives. Coulson gave examples of relationships, which included friends, family, intimate partners, classmates, and many more.
“When you think about relationships there are so many different dynamics… it’s important to know when relationships are good and when relationships are not good for us,” said Coulson.
Some relationships can be potentially threatening, which is why it is essential to get out, or get help.
The cycle of a healthy relationship goes from the honeymoon stage to the calm stage. From the calm stage, there is then a stress stage that can be caused by things like finances, family, kids, work schedules, etc. Then, the cycle goes back to calm and repeats all over again.
However, in the cycle of violence, there is no calm stage. “In an unhealthy relationship it [a stress] is going to result in an violent episode,” said Coulson. The cycle moves straight from stress into explosive episodes. This can be dangerous for both parties in the relationship.
“So as time goes on with the cycle of violence in violent relationships the cycle becomes shorter and shorter they begin moving from stage to stage more quickly,” said Coulson.
These types of relationships can sometimes lead to domestic violence. Coulson said, “Domestic violence is all about power and control.”
Coulson said that 95 percent of batterers are men. “Isolation… this is a big one for what keeps women in the cycle,” said Coulson.
The man attempts to control the woman by isolating her from her friends and family, threatening her, using children as leverage, and emotionally abusing her, Coulson said. “Typically we don’t think of all the different types of violence that go into domestic violence.”
Women that are in domestic abuse relationships often have a hard time leaving, because the man has complete control over her. Most women stay because they still love the man, or because they are too afraid to leave the batterer. “The question we should ask is not why she stays, but why he batters,” said Coulson.
Joel Ornelas, EMT major, was at the presentation with his paramedic class. “It was actually very helpful especially when I’m going to be out there and hopefully get help to someone who needs it,” said Ornelas.
Ornelas hopes that he will be able to help people in this situation. “Being able to recognize this whenever we go on our clinical will help a lot,” said Ornelas.
If you know someone in a domestic abuse relationship, one thing that you can do to help is to inform her of her options. “Offering her and providing her resources if often the most helpful thing you can do,” said Coulson.
Many services are offered at the YWCA of Okla. City. Some of the services are: housing, counseling, trauma groups, support groups, and Court Advocacy.
For more information visit YWCA’s website at http://www.ywcaokc.org/site/c.7oJELRPuFgJYG/b.8087209/k.BEC7/Home.htm or call the domestic violence hotline at 405-917-9922