Teen Dating Violence: Long Term Harm

Our next story comes from a friend of Battered and Beautiful that was introduced to teen dating violence at the exceptionally young age of 14. Though she was never physically harmed, the trauma of emotional abuse runs deep, especially when experienced during adolescence.

When I was 14, I was dating a boy who emotionally abused me on a regular basis. My first time having sex was with him. He begged to do it without a condom until I was pressured into saying yes for fear of him leaving me. Afterwards, he threatened to tell everyone if I didn’t continue to sexually please him whenever he wanted. Our relationship continued to be extremely toxic and he would send messages of him asking out other girls when we would get into fights. He was emotionally unstable and would consistently tell me he’d kill himself if I were to ever leave him. For three years I felt like an unlicensed psychiatric therapist even though I was still trying to figure out how to deal with my own mental health. Our last encounter when I was 17 ended with him telling me I deserved to die.

Her story reminds us of the emotional burden of unhealthy relationships and the techniques abusers use to keep victims emotionally invested in the outcome of the relationship. The patterns of digital abuse, sexual pressures, and jealousy are hallmarks of abusive situations and can be experienced by anyone, regardless of status or wealth. We are thankful she found a way out and extend our resources to those who might be currently experiencing teen dating violence.

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.