Magazine article on dating violence

For example, they're more than twice as likely as others to consider suicide.

Boys who have faced dating violence are nearly four times as likely to have been bullied online; girls are more than twice as likely.

I never imagined such shame and at 15 years old, understood it even less. It was those incidents that left long-lasting emotional scars. My story begins at the age of 14 and continues off and on until I was 22.

The signs weren't obvious, especially to a 14 year-old, but it began with him telling me he didn't like the shirts I wore, or that my skirt was too short; at the time, it was easy to mistake jealousy and control for adoration.

One winter day during my junior year, I found out that he had cheated on me again. He became enraged as I walked away to my class but he didn't follow me. In that moment, I had two choices: I could either sit there and continue to be belittled in front of everyone because he wasn't going to leave, and nobody else was going to say or do anything, or I could walk out and be shamed anyway because I had given into his threats. As we walked down the hall, he spit in my face, pulled my necklace off my neck, threw it in the trashcan and he threw me up against the lockers. Mine is a story of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse.

After class had begun, I heard the door swing open, which was at the front of the classroom. He stayed at the door and looked toward the teacher and said to him in front of the whole class, "I need to speak to that fucking whore right there." He pointed at me, then he turned to me and said, "Bitch, get your fucking stupid ass out here now." Everybody turned and looked at me in shock but nobody said a word. It didn't begin immediately, in fact, there weren't any signs until we had been dating for almost a year.

It soon progressed to name-calling, insults, unfounded accusations, degradation, humiliation, and isolation.

The first step in domestic violence is to charm the victim; the second is to isolate the victim. I began believing I deserved the abuse, and thought everybody else believed I was who he said I was.

Teens who have experienced dating violence are at much higher risk for a variety of serious problems.It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have severe consequences and short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen.And you’d definitely have zero clue that those flowers were one of his many “I’m sorry” gifts after he berated her for posting a photo he didn’t like online or accused her of cheating.“He loved getting me flowers when he knew he’d been a jerk,” she says now.