I had the privilege of attending the WILD event, “In Her Shoes.” This event was very interactive and taught the WILD women and Lakewood High School students about the dangers of dating abuse. WILD women were paired up with high school students and each pair was given a scenario. In the pair, one person was the victim, who had to make the decisions in each scenario, and the other person was the witness who silently observed the victim make their decisions. In my group, I was the witness. My partner was given the card stating she was abused by her girlfriend. I went with her through each decision, whether she chose to go to the hang out station to be with her girlfriend, or whether she chose to go home where her parents opposed homosexuality. It seemed like no matter what choice my partner made, she had to keep picking up the props that visually showed how much abuse she was really taking, whether it was verbal or physical. This event was really eye-opening. I had no idea that so many women go through dating abuse and how different each situation is. Dating abuse isn’t just physical. At this event, I witnessed many women wearing insult stickers. It became evident to me that the verbal abuse is sometimes a lot worse than the physical abuse. Bruises will heal; it’s the emotional pain that really scars a person. And while some women do get out of dating abuse, others sadly, do not. Fortunately, the Providence House of Ocean County offers a safe house and a hotline for anyone who needs help with this issue. If you fear you or someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, you can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-732-244-8259. If you would like to volunteer at the Providence House, you can call Marcia Fishkin at (732) 350- 2120.
By Bridget DiPierro-WILD X Cohort