Is it relationship abuse?

Sydney Shuler | Staff Writer

Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence, about three times the nation average in the U.S.

As young people, identifying signs of abuse in a relationship can be difficult. The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence, also referred to as dating or relationship abuse, as “a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another in an intimate relationship.”

These behaviors are not at all limited to physical abuse. Victims of relationship abuse often experience emotional and verbal abuse such as serial cheating, having their appearance controlled by their partner or being blamed for the way they are being treated.

In a relationship where the finances are shared between the two, someone may experience financial abuse that include receiving an allowance or living in the home while refusing to work or contribute to the household.

In the age of social media, digital abuse is seen in cases of domestic abuse as well. Digital abuse includes one partner keeping the other off social media, having control of usernames and passwords or posting negative or embarrassing things about their partner.

College relationships are hard enough with making time for one another between classes and work, and balancing dates to the cafeteria or library with dates out.

Forty-three percent of dating college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behavior during their time in school.

Dating abuse rears its ugly head in a number of ways. It’s critical to be aware of the warning signs before it’s too late. When you’re forced to question whether the one you care for is the one hurting you, thoughts and emotions can get cloudy. If you’re not sure if you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship, ask yourself:

Do they become jealous when you hang out with friends?

Do they get angry when you choose to take (much-needed) time alone?

Do they discourage you from seeing family or friends?

Do they pressure you to use drugs or alcohol?

Do they keep you from class to spend time with them?

Do they intimidate you with weapons or aggression?

Do they constantly put you down or tell you that nothing you do is right?

Do they pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?

Fifty-seven percent of young people surveyed by admit that relationship abuse is difficult to identify, while 58 percent say they don’t know to help someone who is experiencing abuse.

A lack of knowledge of the signs of domestic abuse and the actions to take to avoid investing into an unhealthy relationship is part of the reason that only 33 percent of teens who were in violent relationships ever told anyone about it, according to

Thirty-eight percent of college students say they don’t know how to get help for themselves on campus if they were a victim of dating abuse.

On Hampton’s campus, any report of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment should be reported to the Title IX Office, located in room 205 of the Wigwam Building.

After filing a report, the following steps will take place, according to HU’s website:

– Honor a student’s wishes NOT to move forward with an investigation, and close the case.

– Provide interim measures while an incident is being investigated.

– Conduct an investigation where both parties will present facts.

– Submit the report to the Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Committee for a hearing and adjudication of the matter.

The decision of the committee is final, and the parties receive written notification of the outcome of the hearing from the appropriate administrator.

The case is CLOSED!

An abusive relationship does not have to be a trap. Educate yourself on the early signs and continuously remind yourself of your worth. Don’t suffer in silence.

If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right, and it’s OK to leave.


Is “bounce-back” happiness true happiness?

Sydney Shuler | Staff Writer

We all know what it’s like to get that surge of motivation after life has done us dirty with a heartbreak, job loss or end of a friendship, but how long does it last? It’s not easy, but it’s time to stop waiting for a reason to put yourself, and your happiness, first.

The saying “you have to love yourself before you love anyone else” isn’t a theory or a myth; it’s a must. We quickly find ourselves in dangerous emotionally codependent relationships when we have not yet figured out how to rely on ourselves for the things we look for in other people.

You find yourself checking your phone for a call or text a little too often, or abandoning your commitments and responsibilities to spend time with or tend to another person. You tell yourself that it’s supposed to be this way, but it’s not. No one is going to give you the same love and attention that you can give yourself.

It all starts with a choice. Recognize your happiness as your own and declare that you won’t give anyone power over it or you.

Dedicating time to yourself daily and without apology is crucial. Whether it’s practicing your choice of meditation or sitting down to read a good book, do it. We can get so lost in the chaos of day-to-day life that we end up neglecting ourselves.

Alone time should be appreciated and used to better get to know yourself. If you make “me time” a consistent part of your daily routine, you’ll eventually stop looking for it from others and become comfortable with riding solo.

Thorough redirection does more than you think. You have the ability to change your emotions solely based on adjusting the way you think. When you find yourself feeling lonely because you are alone, remind yourself of the difference.

When you start to put yourself down, stop the thought and say twice as many good things about yourself. Don’t be afraid to become your own biggest fan.

Lean on your support system. Often times we hesitate to go to friends or family with our problems because we don’t want to feel like a burden or complainer, without realizing that we are the only ones with those thoughts.

The people around you love you. They want to see you happy, and they want to help you achieve happiness.

“I have relied on countless other people to make me happy…and in the end, I didn’t feel happy,” sophomore Brandi Robinson said.

“People do hurt you [intentionally and accidentally], but if you’re happy within yourself, you can better get over the pain because you never depended on them in the first place.”

Shutting down the myths about black beauty

Sydney Shuler | Staff Writer

From birth, black women are given a list of rules of what they can and cannot do to be considered beautiful. But how much of it is true?

  1. Maintain a quiet crown

Black women are told that they have three hair colors to choose from: light brown (but not too light), dark brown and black. Anything else is unprofessional, uncouth and decidedly not for black girls.

Black women all over, including celebrities such as Rihanna, Lil’ Kim and Cardi B, have repeatedly proven that this is not the case.

  1. No nude for you

You’re getting ready for a night out and you’ve just finished your dramatic smoky eye. You remember hearing a makeup guru on YouTube say, “Always pair a smoky eye with a nude lip.” So you hesitate.

Too often, black women hear that nude shades will make their lips look dry and undefined, when that does not have to be true. The trick for a nude lip is to always pair it with a dark lip liner. Blending the colors of the liner and the nude shade will create a smooth and natural transition between the color of your skin and your lip color. As YouTuber and beauty guru Jackie Aina said, “Whoever says dark skin girls can’t wear nude lips just don’t know how to do it right.”

  1. Black folks don’t need sunscreen

As beautiful as melanin skin is, it cannot fully protect from the harsh rays of the sun. Although it offers some protection, the Mayo Clinic says that people with dark skin are at risk of skin damage from excessive sun exposure, despite getting sunburn less than people with fair skin.

Sunscreen is meant to intercept harmful UV rays from the sun before they reach the skin’s surface. Chineolo Chidozie, co-founder of the black skin care line Bolden, said, “Even though skin cancer doesn’t affect people of color as much as it affects people with white skin, that makes it more dangerous because it’s often not caught until it’s in an advanced stage.”

A common complaint among people with dark skin is the purple-tinted snail trail left by some sunscreen lotions. Some products that avoid this issue include Nivea Super Sun Protect Water Gel SPF 50, Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen.

  1. You’ll look like a boy

Our hair does not define us. Recently, more women have decided to “big chop” their hair as a part of the regrowth process, or simply because they want to.

“I definitely feel like more people are becoming accepting of short hair on black women,” said freshman major Kayla Hicks, who also rocks a short cut.

The best thing about a short cut: It’s easy to have fun with! Short hair can easily be dyed (any bold or natural color you’d like), chopped even more, brushed into smooth waves or glided into finger waves.

“I have 3A/3B hair,” freshman Rebekkah Maxwell said. “When it’s long, it is wavy because of the weight, but having short hair allows me to have tighter curls, which I enjoy.”

Make sure to keep your short hairdo moisturized and detangled for better growth. Who says black women can’t have short hair? Whether your hair is full of bouncing curls, locks down your back or a bald fade, it’s yours and it’s beautiful.