Although domestic violence defines you in ways beyond comprehension, I will only allow it to push me further than I ever dreamed, beyond all doubts and fears, and towards my bliss.* 1 in 10 teens reported being hit or physically hurt by a boyfriend/girlfriend * Across studies, 15-40% of youth report perpetrating some form of violence towards a dating partner * Perpetrating dating violence in adolescence increases the risk of perpetrating violence toward a partner in adulthood * Exposure to dating violence significantly affects a range of mental and physical health problems How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU?
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Welcome to one of the most challenging phases of parenting—adolescence.
Everybody turned and looked at me in shock but nobody said a word. 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. It didn't begin immediately, in fact, there weren't any signs until we had been dating for almost a year.
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.
Although I had been stripped of all remnants of self-worth, I found an ounce of esteem that told me I deserved better.
In those moments, I desperately needed somebody who understood.
Somebody who could guide me back to myself, my voice, and my truth.
But I chose to keep my secret hidden, I chose to protect the people I loved, I chose to find my own way. I found my voice and rebuilt my foundation on self-acceptance and self-love.
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.
After class had begun, I heard the door swing open, which was at the front of the classroom. 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. I never imagined such shame and at 15 years old, understood it even less.
The hell became so familiar that it was easier to stay rather than leave.