Abuse tends to escalate, putting you at greater risk in the future.
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.
They may be embarrassed or ashamed, and may blame themselves. Tell them that you are concerned for their safety and well-being and that you are there for them.
They are often afraid of retaliation from their partner for telling.
They may have little or no experience with healthy dating relationships and confuse jealousy with love.
Back to top Emotional and verbal abuse are somewhat more difficult to define.
These types of abuse often involve angry outbursts, withholding of emotional responses, manipulative coercion, or unreasonable demands.
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.
It soon progressed to name-calling, insults, unfounded accusations, degradation, humiliation, and isolation.
It was easier to live with the shame and guilt in secrecy.
It was easier to stay and suffer in private than to try to leave and be humiliated in public.
Back to top Physical abuse occurs when someone physically hurts you, such as by hitting you or throwing something at you.