Counseling seminar sheds light on abusive relationships

The Student Counseling & Wellness Resource Center hosted a seminar last week titled “99 Seconds” to teach students the seriousness of abuse and let them know where they can go to talk a counselor. It was called “99 Seconds” because statistics show that a person is abused every 99 seconds.

Guest speaker Tundra Turner, who has been the social relational counselor at Grambling State University for nine years, started off with an ice-breaker in which she gave everyone signs with “yes” and “no” on them and asked a series of questions such as “Is cheating a form of abuse?” and “Did you grow up in an abusive home?” and “Have you ever been in an abusive relationship?”

If students felt the questions were too personal, they were encouraged not to answer. Turner explained the exercise was to see how everyone viewed abuse and if certain situations qualified as abuse or not.

Turner then discussed those questions and said, “Cheating is a form of abuse because if a person cheats on you, you feel hurt mentally and emotionally.”
She informed students that abusers and the abused are always in these situations based on something that happened to them in their past. For example, if a child witnessed a parent or guardian being abused, that child is likely to grow up accepting that abuse is the norm, and sometimes men witness abuse and grow up to be an abuser.

Something else that can spark a woman to receive and keep taking abuse is if she is raped, Turner said. This can make a woman feel like it’s her fault and that this is what she deserves and should expect from a man.

On the flip side, Turner discussed how men can be abused by women. She referred to cases where a woman would hit her man because she saw him talking to another girl and he would playfully say she’s just jealous, but then weeks later the girlfriend would key his car and bleach his car seats because of jealousy.

Abuse can both ways, males and females can be abused or be the abuser. Turner also explained that women have told her in counseling situations that they contracted STDs from their lovers yet continue sleeping with others because of low self-esteem and feeling like they deserved that. When asked what would be your advice to a person who is scared of their abuser, Malik Wheeler, a history major from Atlanta, said, “Love yourself. It’s best to get help because no one deserves that.” Wheeler also explained that his grandmother has been abused so he personally understood what abuse really is and how it can affect you.

At the end of the program there was a moment of silence for 99 seconds out of respect for anyone who’s ever been abused.

Turner’s best advice to a student who wants to escape an abusive relationship is, “Seek help because you can’t do it alone, because there are always contributing factors, and you’re going to need an escape plan.”

Students who feel they need help or have been in an abusive relationship and want to schedule an appointment, call at 318-274-3277 or email at or visit them in the West Wing of the Foster-Johnson Building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.