By Shanelle Poole’15
Aside from bullying, drug abuse, and peer pressure, domestic violence has become another battle teenagers must face. Teens usually have their first real relationship in high school. They can finally go on dates, and they eventually fall in love. Instead of finding a knight in shining armor and living happily ever after, some girls end up in an abusive relationship.
According to Loveisrespect.org, 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a partner every year and about one quarter of high school girls have been victims of sexual and physical abuse, but only 33% tell people that they are being abused.
Some girls do not know that they are in an abusive relationship, and if they do know, they are too scared to tell or they believe that abuse is a part of a relationship.
There are many signs to look for. They include verbal and physical abuse, constantly asking questions, trying to control what you wear and do. If he constantly wants you around him , he wants you to stop hanging out with your friends and if he tries to tell you what to wear, he isn’t caring, he is being jealous and controlling. If he pushes , shakes, grabs or hits you , then apologizes and says he will never do it again, chances are it will happen again and next time it could be worse.
“I believe there are many reasons that young girls stay in an abusive relationship,” said Ms. Kristin Krase, Midwood Psychologist, “but the one I find most important is low self-esteem because a lot of girls do not have confidence in their looks and how they value themselves.”
According to ABC News.org, 18 year old Lauren Astley was strangled and then she had her throat slit by an abusive ex-boyfriend after they broke up.
Ortralla Mosley was 15 years old dating 16 year old Marcus McTear. After the two had an argument, Marcus chased her to the second floor hallway where he stabbed her six times in the head, neck and back with an 8 inch kitchen knife. She died in her school hallway in the arms of a student. Unfortunately, a big crowd of students and teachers witnessed the horrific scene.
They were two young girls that were in abusive relationships and they tried to get away, but it was too late in both cases.
“A lot comes from inexperience and what a healthy relationship looks like, most girls think if a boy is jealous, then he must really love them,” said Ms. Krase
Most teenagers are unable to leave the abuser because they experience abuse with their “first love.” Sometimes, the abuser goes to the school, and cannot be avoided. They are scared to go to their parents because, although they have been hurt by their boyfriend, they are willing to protect him out of love. Most of the times, the victims believe they deserve to be physically and verbally abused.
Ms. Marguerite Allen, the guidance counselor said, “If a student is being abused, I would have to report it to my supervisor and both parents, and then a meeting would be arranged, because even though the girl is the victim, the attacker has some emotional and social issues that must be addressed.”
The first step in getting out of an abusive relationship is to realize that it’s not your fault. Wearing a mini skirt or going out for pizza with a friend isn’t a reason to end up with a black eye.
You should tell an adult or friend. You could also seek professional help to get out of an abusive relationship. There are many long term affects for girls that are abuse such as pregnancy.
“Safety surpasses love all the way. You should try to look at your relationship with an outside perspective and then make a decision,” said Kadeem Adrian’15.
If you do not feel comfortable talking to a parent, guidance counselor or a friend, there are many alternatives. You can call the Dating Abuse hotline at 866-331-9474. They are willing to listen to you. You can also text “love is” to 7054, where they will answer any questions you have and they will give you advice on what a healthy relationship is.
“I think that having these hotlines is a really good idea because a lot of girls are scared to go to their friends because they do not want to be judged,” said Zharia Charles’16.
“Sorry” should never be enough. If you realize the signs in the beginning, leave before it is too late. Be a survivor not a statistic.