Thursday, April 23, 2009

Domestic Abuse and Violence

Domestic violence is a very serious problem in Puerto Rico. Generally speaking, many attribute this to the machoism inherent in Puerto Rican culture. Sadly, the justice system here has also failed to help and protect most victims. The Oficina de la Procuradora de Las Mujeres is the local government agency in charge of women's issues, one of which includes domestic violence. So far this year, five women have been shot to death by a boyfriend or husband, and don't forget the countless others who have been beatened and battered. I know we are inclined to think of abuse as something entirely physical, but I believe mental abuse is just as bad, if not worse. It's also sexist to think of women as being the only victims. Especially when it comes to mental abuse, I believe men can often be victims as well.

Personally, I have never been (or know anyone) who has been in an abusive relationship. However, according to the Website of the National Women's Health Information Center, here are some of the tell-tale signs of an abusive relationship:
  • Monitors what you're doing all the time
  • Criticizes you for little things
  • Constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Humiliates you in front of others

For the complete list, please click here. If your spouse or partner exhibits any of these behaviors, help is needed.

(The image above was obtained from

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