The CDC’s intimate partner violence survey indicates that more than 1 in 5 women experience severe physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetime. 80% of women and teens who are physically abused by their intimate partner do not leave. Here is the story of one:
She was fifteen and in love. He was everything she would want in a boyfriend, handsome, funny, charming, absolutely perfect, and he said he loved her. At first, she thought his jealousy was sweet, and she loved that someone as amazing as he was wanted to keep her all to himself. In hindsight, she saw the truth. At first, she liked that he cared about her appearance, that he told her which outfits looked good on her, and which didn’t. In hindsight, she saw the truth. At first, her friends thought he was amazing, too. Later, they hated him and they gave up on her. In hindsight, she saw the truth.
The first time he hit her during a fight, he fell to pieces, shocked that he had lost control and stunned that he had hurt the person he loved more than anyone…he cried, he begged her to forgive him, begged her not to leave. She stayed because he promised it would never happen again. In hindsight, she saw the truth.
When he hit her the next time and blamed it on her, she stayed because he said he loved her, and because she loved him. In hindsight, she saw the truth. After six months of dating, she was accustomed to his moods, accustomed to the violence. She stayed because true love is sometimes hard. In hindsight, she saw the truth.
When he beat her so badly that she had to get stitches, she lied to her parents and said she had tripped and fallen down the stairs. She stayed because he said he’d kill himself if she left him. In hindsight, she saw the truth. After he raped her when she said no to having sex, he said he’d kill her if she ever tried to leave him. She stayed. In hindsight, she saw the truth.
She was fifteen and in love, or so she thought, but no one had ever talked to her about what real love looks like. No one told her that real love doesn’t include name calling, controlling, jealousy, lying or abuse, that it doesn’t hurt. No one ever told her that real love was worth the wait. That’s the truth.
Since 2010, Revved Up Kids has trained thousands of children to recognize dangerous people, avoid unsafe situations, and escape attackers. Our training programs are available for boys and girls in K-8th grade, for teen girls 11 and older, for parents, and for youth serving organizations. Learn more about our programs for teen girls by visiting the programs pages on this site. Contact us to discuss protecting the children you love from predators and violence, 678.526.3335.