Less than a week ago, an ex-UVA lacrosse player was convicted of the murder of his former girlfriend in a tense courtroom.
Eyes around the nation were glued to the TV screen. Even if you did not have a connection to the University of Virginia or did not know George Huguely or Yeardley Love, it was a conviction you needed to see for yourself.
While I cannot speak with full knowledge of this situation, it’s important to note in the aftermath of this trial just how easily this could happen anywhere on any campus. College relationships can be passionate — in both good and bad ways. Sometimes when you’re away from home it’s easy to get involved in a situation that makes you vulnerable to domestic abuse. And even if you get yourself out of that situation, it can still come back to haunt you.
Throughout the trial, it became very evident that Huguely had problems with drinking. While most people would (hopefully) not go to such as extremes as he did, there are many people out there who do get aggressive when they are drinking. When you throw in the drama of college relationships with someone who has had too much to drink and is very aggressive, it is a slippery slope to where something horrible could happen.
To prevent deaths like Love’s, it’s important to keep your eye out, not only for your friends, but all of the people around you.
If you see a friend who is involved in a seemingly dangerous relationship, talk to him or her. Find out what’s going on and what you can do to help. If they won’t open up to you about the situation, try to get them to see a campus counselor. If you’re truly his or her friend, it’s time to step in so the abuse can be prevented.
If you hear something suspicious or scary going on, report it. There was one time when I was studying late at night in my apartment and I overheard a male threatening the life of a female who was in his room that butted up to mine. I called security for them to do a welfare check. While maybe it was nothing and I could’ve completely misread the situation, I could sleep better knowing that I tried to help. If you are in a similar situation, it is never a bad thing to be too proactive. You could be saving a life.
Here is a link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which has a lot of information on what you can do to help.