Today’s column is about a rather delicate subject. As Delphos mourns the loss of a young mother at the hands of her husband, I feel compelled to address the issue of domestic violence.

I urge anyone who is being mistreated — verbally or physically — to get out of the situation. If there are children involved, do so doubly fast.

You often hear the abused party give a myriad of reasons why they can’t or won’t leave. They don’t have any money, nowhere to go or they were more afraid to leave than to stay. Fear is a great motivator. That’s why the abuser has the upper hand. The other person is afraid — sometimes of everything.

You will never hear me say being afraid of something is stupid. Fear isn’t always bad; it’s how we react to that fear that determines how the story unfolds. Fear gives some the courage to do things they never would have otherwise. Fear can also incapacitate someone and prevent them from avoiding what they fear the most.

In the time it takes you to read this column, more than two dozen people in the United States will have been a victim of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. That’s more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. That’s more people than live in the state of Ohio!

Police officers will say domestic violence calls can be the most dangerous events to respond to. Often, the victim will refuse to press charges and if the abuser becomes unruly or uncooperative and has to be subdued by officers, the victim will try to protect the very person who is hurting them. I don’t understand the logic or mentality in that but I guess I don’t have to. It is what it is.

When someone stays in an abusive relationship and it doesn’t involve children, I’m not quite as concerned as when it does. Witnessing that behavior teaches children it’s OK. If it’s a man abusing a woman it shows girls that’s how they should expect to be treated and it shows boys it’s OK to treat them like that and if the situation is reversed, vice versa.

I know that when my husband and I have enthusiastic conversations, Little Ringo’s ears and tail go down and he kind of shrinks a little. He doesn’t like it. Blow that up about 100 times for children. They are little sponges collecting everything that goes on around them and processing it for future use. They should feel loved, safe and secure in their own home.

Children in abusive households are more likely to abuse and be abused. You are the adult. You need to break the cycle.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, please get out of the situation. Ask for help from family or friends. You have options that don’t involve being hurt.

If you have children, do it not only for yourself, but for them. It will be hard and they may not understand and misguidedly blame you for the absent parent or caregiver and the situation they find themselves in. Be strong. You are doing the right thing.

If you are an abuser, please get help. You can stop it. You can find the reason you act or react the way you do and fix it. You can break the cycle.