By: JM Oran A tender smile crosses Kimberly Segovia’s face when she checks her smartphone and notices a text message from her fiancé.
Most afternoons after school, I would get into trouble with my Mom because Benny made me stay with him while he worked on his car.
When I told him that I had to leave, he told me that I wanted to rush home because I didn't care about him and that there were lots of girls who would want to hang around him.
I wanted to support him and be there for him in any way he needed me.
I happily took on the task of making him feel loved and supported no matter what, it was me who was going to show him unconditional love.
Teenage abusers use the same methods to control and manipulate their partners, and teenage survivors feel the same anguish and fear as adult women.
The abuse Segovia experienced at the hands of her 17-year-old boyfriend followed a trajectory that adult survivors will find familiar: it started off with verbal abuse. You look like a slut.’ And then it escalated from there,” she said.
I was the girl who would say with pride that I would never let anyone, especially a boyfriend, hit me. He opened up to me immediately sharing the struggles with his family life growing up. He told me how his father was abusive to his mother and he hated him for it.
I knew that it existed in the world and I knew it was bad if it happened, but I had no idea it was called Domestic Violence, and I definitely had no idea how deeply dangerous, manipulative, gradual and lonely being abused was, until I met Phil. With the amazing upbringing I had experienced it was difficult for me to imagine living in a violent environment.
Our relationship started as a dream, we were young and thought I was in love. Yes we were obsessed with each other, I knew that drove my parents crazy, I wanted to be with him 24/7, and he with me.