When I was 17, I started dating “Steven.” We dated for three years. During that time Steven was mentally, physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. He continues to be now that we are apart.
When I publicly came out with my story he told everyone who knew me that I was “toxic” and “crazy. ” Steven has denied the truth about the abuse. He got an order of protection against me, yet continues to go out of his way daily to get me in trouble and label me as being toxic.
Being 21 and going through this while battling school, work and everyday life is not the easiest. Keeping the abuse a secret from my friends, family and loved ones for three years was hard. But having to lie about where I got the bruises from was especially difficult.
I don’t have pictures of the times he strangled me, beat me with a metal tool, or tried to kill me. Nor do I have proof he pushed me into a closet or damaged my property. The time for being silent is over. I want to speak my truth for all those who are struggling and battling their abusers behind closed doors.
I am now majoring in social work and my goal is to go out into the world and help ALL who are suffering from abuse. I want to help them seek safety and not be afraid to share their stories.
For anyone going through healing or seeking safety, I offer you all my support. You are not alone.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.