Mental scars can linger

By Keishonda Sherman/reporter

Students learned at a lecture April 18 on SE Campus about interpersonal violence and the trauma it causes.

Jessica Grace, the program manager of the Technology Enhanced Screening and Supportive Assistance program at the University of North Texas’ School of Public Health, talked with students about the impact of violence, ways to identify it and how to seek help. 

Grace said interpersonal or domestic violence occurs when a person intentionally uses power and control over another through physical, sexual or emotional threats or actions, economic control, isolation and other types of coercive behavior.

“Anytime someone experiences trauma, it has an impact on their health,” she said.

In Texas, one in five women is sexually assaulted, and 38 percent of women and 27 percent of men have experienced intimate partner violence. 

When children have seen domestic violence, been sexually assaulted or been through a family divorce, they often have to deal with mental health issues in their adult lives, Grace said.

She said this issue can extend far past the locked doors of a house where domestic violence takes place, so being aware and alert is important.

The TESSA program is designed to assist in taking the steps needed to first recognize if a person is in an abusive relationship and if so, how to get out.

Anyone seeking help can call The Women’s Center’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 817-927-2737.