Guest blogger Saira currently works in publishing but dedicates her free time to social commentary on her personal blog. She will soon be a Master of Science candidate at Columbia University. Follow her on twitter @sairakh.
**TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains graphic images and descriptions of physical assault**
Here’s the thing about domestic violence and physical assault: You can list off all the statistics available out there (one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime) without realizing what they really mean. It’s not like abuse is something you can immediately spot. Abuse victims learn to cover evidence or it simply isn’t in a visible place. Emotional scars – well, we all know how those work. It’s easy to brush off statistics because they appear as nothing but numbers and research.
Think about it this way: The next time you’re in a room full of men and women, look around and think of those statistics. Chances are that multiple women in that room have been victims of abuse; they’re just not wearing stickers that identify them as such. Some of the men in that room have also been victims of abuse; those men tend to do an even better job of hiding it. The problem with a statistic is that it’s just a silly number until someone you love becomes one and when that happens, your world feels like it’s crashing down.