Teen Dating Violence – My Story – Help is Readily Available

Teen Dating Violence – My Story – Help is Readily Available

Relationships while a young teenager feels exciting, it’s the first time you start liking someone, but the meaning of love is much more than that.  

I’d like to share my story and I hope that this somehow reaches the hands and heart of every teenager not only in NOHU but everywhere.

I was raised by a very hard working mother of 5, she did everything she could to be the best she can be for us.  As an adult, I have come to understand the meaning of her fears and why she may have been particularly strict. At the time, I saw it as a restraint and being one of 5, my youngest sister had more privileges than I did and I always found myself covering for her when all I wanted to do was enjoy time with my friends.  It was easy for me to find comfort in someone who gave me some attention. 

In the beginning, it seemed great, he gave me flowers and he was just over all “cool” I was 17 and he was 18 yrs old. He somehow convinced me to sneak out of my home to spend the night with him, in a way, starting to control me.  He’d keep me up at night and I’d be home before school started. My Mom ended up finding out, she called the police and somehow they knew where I was, he apparently had a reputation of doing that. On the night I turned 18, I moved in with him and that’s when it all began, from the first time and the many stories in between, to the last time, when I had to fight for my life.  He did everything from physiological, to emotional, verbal and his personal favorite,  physical abuse. My high school  was not aware, although they suspected something was going on. They ran drug tests on me because I’d fall asleep during almost every class and had absolutely no social life. It was not because of drugs, he’d force me to be awake at night ….. bothering me. 

I couldn’t just leave, he’d threaten to kill a family member if I ever opened my mouth. I was scared and had nowhere to turn.  The police came one time after my neighbor called them because she suspected that he’d hit me and saw a huge black and blue on my face that I’d cover the best I can with my

Cover girl foundation. I lied to them saying I fell off the bed. I remember the night when I fled to Florida leaving my job behind, at age 19.  I lived there for a few months and then returned. He stalked me for a few months until he finally gave up. 

Today, I am 35 years old and ever since then, I have suffered from PTSD.  I often have nightmares and find myself running away from any form of confrontation, I get nervous and suffer from anxiety with confrontations.

I often wonder how many women among us were young teenagers that suffered domestic violence and have never spoken about it.  According to statistics, 22% of women and 15% of men experience some sort of partner violence between 11-17 years of age, leading to other health risk factors, such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety and can even lead to suicide. Teen dating violence[187KB, 2Pages, 508](https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/teen-dating-violence-factsheet-a.pdf)

Teens!!! Listen up, there is a lot of help out there that we have access to in order to get the help we need. You are not alone. I could’ve started with a list of hotlines you can call but I wanted to share a real life experience with you. Perhaps you can relate and perhaps you may not. Either way, there is a way to get help for yourself or a friend you know needs it.  THE POWER LIES WITHIN YOU! 

Check out the link above, which holds the most recent information found regarding teen dating violence, published by the CDC, this year, 2018.  

I also invite you to leave your comments or reach out to me with your experiences.  I am here for emotional support, I’m not a professional, but can guide you to get the help you need. I’m here for you. 

Love, Zoraida

 

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