Susan Leavy, the director of the Women’s Center at Cal State Fullerton, spoke at the Cadena Cultural Center Monday afternoon.
She has over 30 years of experience working with men and women in abusive relationships.
Leavy covered the different forms of abuse: emotional, sexual, psychological, physical, verbal and financial.
She also explained the cycle of violence consisting of the honeymoon, tension building and explosive phases.
Half of all relationships experience some form of abuse, so it is essential to talk about, especially on college campuses.
Most cases of domestic violence are rarely reported.
According to safehorizon.org, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence throughout her lifetime and those who are 18-34 years old are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
Nearly three million men are victims of physical assaults in the United States and are less likely to report it than women because of the high amount of shame they receive.
Effects of domestic violence include “higher rates of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, flashbacks and other emotional distress.” It may also be a factor in a victim’s poor health and contribute to long-term conditions such as heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders.
Fullerton College student, Marlene Martinez, briefly mentioned how the seminar touched her heart and thought she should have learned the information brought up at the meeting at an earlier point in her life.
It is a topic not many people want to openly talk about, but it is crucial that both men and women of all ages are informed on the knowledge surrounding the issue.
If a person witnesses domestic violence and does not receive any help, it may increase their chances of getting abused or becoming the abuser.
Vincent White, a coordinator at the FC Transfer Center, was deeply appreciative for Leavy’s seminar on campus.
“We’re very lucky to have Susan Leavy here speaking free of charge…this is a valuable resource that could help students silently dealing with domestic violence,” White said.
There was an excellent turnout of students who attended the seminar.
Leavy mentioned the women to men ratio in the room was “close to even” and pointed out how only women would come to her seminars – she’s glad to see more men attending.
“Talk to somebody who can see it from the outside…being educated on it [intimate partner violence] is the most important thing,” Leavy said.