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Teen dating and domestic violence
Posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Too many teenagers become victims of domestic violence because they can't decipher between what's right and what is wrong in dating situations. This is one story I wanted to share with you:
When I was 13 years old I met Peter at a friends. Peter was everything my parents hated - which made me like his bad boy attitude even more. Peter showed me a world I never knew in the summer of my 9th grade year. During the school year I was arrested a few times for minor consumption, running away and even a felony possession of narcotics. All within the first year of dating him! I thought it was normal to take the blame for him when we got in trouble. I thought it was normal to have sex anytime he wanted, even if it meant sneaking out of my parents to walk to his house at 3am. I thought it was normal that I wasn't allowed to talk to other people that were the opposite sex. I also thought it was normal to give him money when he wanted it - even if I had to steal or pawn personal belongings.
But Peter was arrested my sophomore year (again) and sentenced to 6 months in juvenile detention. During which time I thought I made it pretty clear that we were not dating. I started dating another boy and when Peter was released from jail, he called me to come hang out with him and told he wanted to talk. Me being young and naive, decided to go hang out, talk and drink with him.
Weighing in at 90 pounds, the vodka I consumed hit me pretty fast and hard. Peter started trying to get me to go upstairs with him so we could be alone - to which I told him no, I was seeing someone else. After more persuasion, I was in his room going back and forth between a drunken yes and no - but it didn't matter - to him, no was not an answer. I remember making a phone call to the guy I was seeing when Peter left the room, I was telling him to pick me up. Now I just had to get out of his house and down the road. I was scared, I hurt and things were starting to boil. I didn't want Peter to get any more upset with me, so I told him I had to go.
...But I couldn't get out of his house. His family knew what had happened and barricaded me into the house and told me I could go home in the morning. After him being released from jail a week prior and the fact they provided the alcohol, they were not trying to get the police involved.
But after about an hour of fighting with him and his family, I somehow escaped and ran into an intersection near his house. My arranged ride was nowhere in sight since it had been two hours since my call. I was able to stop the one car I saw in oncoming traffic and get a ride with older couple I never met. They must have been pretty frightened to see a 15 year old girl covered in blood running into their car at 2 AM! I was dropped off at a friend's house who urged me to call the police, which I did.
Peter went right back to jail and his family begged me not to press charges, so I didn't. However, since I was still on probation, my probation officer put a restraining order on him for me until I was 18 years old. I was so mad! Who was he to tell me I couldn't see a friend if I wanted to? How did he just think he knew what was best for me? He didn't know what was best for me - only I did! I was beyond livid that he did that, so I acted out and got into even more trouble. In and out of juvenile detention - how dare someone make rules for me? I was going to show him!
Peter got out a year later and we started talking again briefly behind everyone's back. It was maybe a few days to a week - It just felt so wrong - what if something serious happened to me this time? Nobody knew we were even talking. So I cut all ties with Peter and focused on school and my grades. I got out of trouble, released from probation, found new friends and graduated early! I learned that I was better than that and people cared.
Peter showed up at my parents' house on my 18th birthday to wish me a Happy Birthday.
Peter carved his name on the side of my parents' house - along with "was here" as a constant reminder.
When I moved out, Peter moved around the corner.
Peter did this again and again, a total of 3 times.
I moved out of state - Peter was waiting at the gas station to tell me goodbye.
Peter wrote me love letters on Facebook - so I block his profile until he makes another one.
I move back to my home, get a gun and learn how to properly use it. I was going to be in control the next time.
Peter has not contacted me in a few years. But I am ready. I have taken control. I still have the scar on my abdomen and the memories in my head but I am in control this time. He will not take any more time from me, cause me anymore sleepless nights or anxiety attacks. It's been thirteen years. Thirteen long years that were full of little memories and flashbacks that have sent me into funks that can last a day to a week.
I am a survivor of teen domestic violence.
And as a victim to teen dating violence, I urge you to talk to your teens. Help guide them and teach them what a healthy teen relationship should be and what types of behaviors should not be put up with. Giving our daughters a healthy, loving family relationship from a young age is a great place to start. Having a positive male influence around the house (father, neighbor, uncle, friend) can work wonders. If a girl sees her mom being treated poorly, she's going to expect that in her own relationship.
And our sons. From a young age we need to teach them respect. Teach them how to respect themselves and future dates. Locker room talk is a real thing - and believe me, our boys are going to be in situations where they feel they need to puff their chests around their friends. But hopefully if we raise them right, they will learn how handle those situations appropriately.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has a TON of information of ALL topics from "Is this abuse" to resources to get help for yourself or a loved one. http://www.thehotline.org/
And keep checking back with our blog. This is a topic we feel strongly about and will be posting about it often!