Listen to her words of warning.
The video, presumably caught by a security camera, is shocking: After a couple enters a stairwell, the man begins striking the woman, causing her to slide down the stairs—only to stand up and be hit again.
Shared by Texas NBC news affiliate KRIS, the video is of former pro baseball prospect Danry Vasquez and his now ex-girlfriend. The station aired the clip and reported that domestic violence charges against Vasquez stemming from the incident were dismissed last week after he completed the terms of a plea deal.
The video has since gone viral, racking up more than 2 million views this week. The Lancaster Barnstormers released a statement announcing that they dropped Vasquez from the Atlantic League team.
Fabiana Perez, who Univision identifies as the ex-girlfriend and victim of the abuse in the video, was interviewed by the network and offered her reflection of the incident, which occurred in August 2016. (The video below is graphic, so viewer discretion is advised).
“Now seeing the video, I remember it all vividly and I ask myself, ’How did this happen? Why didn’t I do anything? Why didn’t I react?’” she told Univision in the interview, which Health had translated from Spanish.
“These are things that happen and with time you start to realize how full of terror and angst you [feel] because you think that is the only person you are ever going to fall in love with," Perez continued. "And on that note, I want to tell all the women that are going through this to move on from this type of situation because this person is not the only person for you. I can tell you from firsthand experience that violence isn’t love. The jealousy, the distrust, nothing good comes from that. Truly.”
Perez’s thoughts on domestic violence echo the warning signs of abuse shared by Health contributing psychology editor Gail Saltz, MD, in a previous article. “Jealousy does not equal love—and it may be a red flag, especially if it is expressed in an angry, critical way," said Dr. Saltz.
Perez urged women who are in abusive relationships to "move on" and realize that abuse isn't about love, it's violence. But making the decision to end a physically abusive partnership can be difficult, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH). Fear, embarrassment, and low self-esteem are among the common reasons some women stay. Mistaking the abuse for a sign of love is another reason some women don't seek help.
“So often, the victim feels love for their abusive partner,” according to the NDVH website. “They may have children with them and want to maintain their family. Abusive people can often be charming, especially at the beginning of a relationship, and the victim may hope that their partner will go back to being that person. They may only want the violence to stop, not for the relationship to end entirely.”
If you're in an abusive relationship or you have a friend you suspect may be with a partner who is physically abusive, reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline for help.
Translated by Stephen Merenes, editor/producer at People en Espanol