Domestic abuse a serious issue on campus

It’s none of our business. It’s not as bad as it looks. It’s not like it happens all of the time.

Actually, it’s none of the above.

Nursing majors who attended last week’s state-mandated domestic abuse workshop were introduced to the devastating physical, emotional and mental effects of such violence.

Whether we realize it or not, domestic abuse is a plague that infects the relationships of many college-aged people.

That’s why we hope the nursing students share what they learned with the rest of us. By simply talking to friends and neighbors about the signs of abuse, those students will help the Western community become better equipped to deal with the dangerous — but often ignored — problem.

Hard numbers about the prevalence of college abuse are difficult to pin down, because many victims don’t report the abuse.

Some make excuses, hide the truth or deny the severity of their situation. Others are unaware that they are being abused or don’t realize their relationship is unusual.

“It’s a type of control that men exert over women, because of the hierarchal structure of our society,” said Ann Goetting, an associate professor of sociology at Western.”Not long ago, men owned women. There are still some people who believe that women should obey men.”

The problem almost certainly haunts the private lives of some Western students. And though some victims of domestic abuse choose to suffer silently, they don’t deserve to.

With the proper knowledge, Western’s students would be more likely to report potential cases of violence just as they’d report any other crime.

We don’t have to be counselors or doctors. We just have to be attentive.

We’re not invading anyone’s privacy. But we could be saving someone’s life.

It’s not a problem to be ignored.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors