Domestic violence comes in a variety of forms along with multiple terms and definitions. Domestic violence can seep into a relationship like a plague if a young, adolescent girl is not aware of the signs. Unfortunately, many young girls in abusive relationships are unaware of how to prevent the abusive behavior from continuing since the girls are overall unaware of the warning signs. One study of 146 teenage girls in which 44% of the girls chose to respond passively when given a hypothetical scenario of an abusive event (Murphy and Smith 13). Through novels and media, young girls are led to believe that it is appropriate to be treated poorly by young boys. One study of eight young adult novels was conducted and demonstrated just how teen romance novels can negatively influence a young girl's perception of Teen Dating Violence (Storer and Strohl 7). As the young girls get older, the idea that abuse is acceptable becomes solidified in their heads. Many women face multiple forms of abuse, such as more than half of 1,401 women in a study by Coker et al. (2000) were experiencing some form of abuse (553). Specifically, a National Violence Against Women Survey was conducted and 59% of the victims, who were stalked by current partners, were at a higher risk to experience psychological abuse by their assailant (Tjaden and Thoennes "Stalking" 6,11). The abuse often leads to the victim having mental health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Golding 126). Women in abusive relationships have a greater chance of having a poorer quality of life (Tollestrup et al. 431). Nevertheless, leaving an abusive relationship is very difficult to do since many women have a bias that their risk is not as high as another woman who is in the same predicament (Martin et al. 109). To make matters worse, half of all women who do leave end up returning to their abusive partner (Strube "Decision" 238). It has been discovered that if there are few resources available to the victim, she will stay with her abusive partner (Gelles 667). Other key factors that play an important role in if the victim stays, include economic issues and love for the abuser (Strube and Barbour "Factors" 840), or a lack of support from friends and family (Landenburger 703). Fortunately, 61 of 98 women in a study left their abusive partner, which could have been due to the fact that 57.1% of the 98 women had employment (Strube and Barbour "Decision" 788). Women may also have trouble leaving due to entrapment in which the victim justifies all investments of time and money to make the abuser happy (Strube "Decisions" 241). Entrapment can also be related to learned helplessness in which the victim lacks the motivation to make change (242). While a woman is in the relationship, she may experience the responses to dissatisfaction, which include: exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect (Rusbult et al. "Exit" 1231). In addition, the woman may encounter the four coping styles which are: self-punishing, aggressive, early disengagement, and reluctant mid-life disengagement responses (Pfouts 102). Although the woman may experience these responses, she may have difficulty leaving the abusive relationship since she may think that the consequences of leaving are more detrimental than what they actually are (Strube "Decision" 241). College women are also at risk for being in abusive relationships as 20% to 30% experience abuse (Shorey et al. 187). However, college women have a high rate of leaving the abusive relationship since they may have more resources than a woman who is dependent economically on her abuser (Edwards et al. 2920). College women also experience high levels of revenge rather than forgiveness (Davidson et al. 3217). Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many women experience growth from such a traumatic experience. This growth can be developing strength and healthier relationships in the future (McMillen and Fisher 173). In fact, one study by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun (1995) was referred to by Patricia Frazier et al. (2001). The study concluded that 50% to 60% of women across multiple studies experienced growth (1048). In the end, those who forgive will have less anxiety and depression (Thompson et al. 313). In order to alleviate the occurrence of domestic abuse, preventative measures should begin with adolescents. These young girls must first develop skills to be assertive before entering a relationship. Support groups and shelters should be widespread, and stricter laws should be enforced that result in negative consequences for those who break them. Education should include women learning about the warning signs of abuse as well as classes for parents to teach them how domestic violence can impact their teenage children. Health education should also include teaching children about what a healthy relationship should consist of. In addition, many health care providers do not screen women for abuse (Smith et al. 4), which means that medical professionals should screen better for abuse and intervene if necessary. As for law enforcement, they should be better trained in how to be sensitive and deal with women who are being abused. As for me, during my teenage years my significant other abused me. However, I chose to end the cycle. I was young and read many young romance novels, listened to music that portrayed women in a poor light, and thus, fell for the bad boy that I would always hear about in music, or read about in books. I knew very little about relationships, and so I was a perfect target. I knew even less of the warning signs as I was not taught about them in school, and I did not grow up in a household that demonstrated any abuse. That being said, I thought that all people were innately good. My perpetrator, on the other hand, grew up drastically different than I did since he has seen his mother get brutally beaten multiple times by many men who came and went in her life. In the end, I learned to forgive and move on. Today, I choose to share my story to raise awareness of the fact that I am not the only one who is a victim. Domestic violence is growing among the youth, and I would like to put an end to this epidemic by presenting empirical data from studies followed by my own personal story.