Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2019

Battered and Beautiful is focused on education and advocacy. For the next few weeks, we will be anonymously posting the stories of women who have reached out to us with their stories of teen dating violence in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Our first story comes from a young woman who had her first brush with dating abuse at the age of 13.

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My first experience with teen dating violence was when I was 13. I had started “dating” this guy that was a little older than me. He was really sweet at first, always checking in on me every day. However, he very quickly became obsessive. He would call me when I got off the bus and make me stay on the phone with him until I fell asleep. He would keep tabs on me at school and made sure I wasn’t flirting with someone else. He started to call me names and verbally abuse me over the phone whenever I would pick up in addition to when we were together. It was like having a bully you called a boyfriend. This went on for several months and I kept it a secret from my family the entire time. When things finally ended, he threatened to tell everyone that I was whore. He continued to call my house phone for years after, even when he moved away. He later went on to date one of my high school friends who endured similar abuse.

Teen dating violence can affect anyone anywhere, regardless of status or wealth. Education and awareness of the cycle of abuse are necessary for prevention. We need to bring awareness about how common this problem is, how it affects the families in our communities, and what we can do to help survivors. 

If you’re a survivor of TDV and want to help us spread awareness about this issue, we would love to hear from you. To share your story with us, you can either message us directly or email us at batteredandbeautiful@gmail.com. We keep everything completely anonymous. 

If you or someone you love is experiencing TDV, please know that there are resources to help you. You can visit the National Domestic Violence hotline at www.thehotline.org for more resources.