Survivor Story: I Am a Teen Dating Violence Survivor

Written by: Brooke, Survivor

When I was in 8th grade, I started dating a boy who was in my social studies class. As time went on, he started getting jealous of me having guy friends or wearing certain clothes. In 10th grade, it progressed to him not wanting me to wear makeup, get a job, or get my driver’s license. He didn’t want me having any friends and hated the ones I did have. Even hanging out with my family wasn’t okay.

Then one day he choked me. Immediately afterward, he started crying and saying he hated himself. He begged me not to tell my parents and said that he was going to kill himself. So instead of worrying about what he did to me, I had to tell him it was okay and convince him not to kill himself.

After that first physical altercation, it happened every day: being punched in the head, having my fingers smashed in doors and my face into a car window. He told me if I ever cheated on him or left, he would kill me. He would call me every morning before school to tell me how to dress, and he would pick me up. If I had something on that he didn’t like he would make me change.

I was scared, alone, and in love. I knew it wasn’t healthy but didn’t know what to do I was so young. Then two days after my 16th birthday he cheated on me. I was so upset that I told a boy who sat in front of me in Spanish class that my boyfriend beats me; it came out like word vomit.

The next day, that boy I told picked my boyfriend up from his desk and said, “If you’re man enough to hit her, you can hit me.” We both got sent to the principal’s office; my boyfriend told me to deny everything, and I did.

But when the guidance counselor came in, I asked to talk to her alone. I told her everything and showed her all of my bruises I had from being pushed down the stairs and repeatedly punched in the arm. She made me tell my parents, and I went to therapy. This was more than ten years ago, and I still think about it all the time.

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