Abusive relationships is no small thing, whether it be that you cower in fear for his terrible words or that you buy dollar store foundation to cover up the bruises. No one can tell you what to do when you are in one, no matter how much you wish someone could. It’s a messy situation and sadly sometimes they start while you are in high school.
Nearly 1.5 high schoolers experience an abusive relationship per year. Those are not good odds, because that means one out of ten high school students have been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by the person they were dating. Many of the students walking through the halls have been through these situations, and only a few spoke out about it. One out of three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner. This means that you pass more than five everyday as you walk from class to class.
One of the girls at our school chose to speak out to me about it, but asked I keep her name private. She said, “I’ve never been hit, but I suppose you could classify what I went through as emotionally abusive. I had just started talking to a guy and I knew he liked me. I invited him to a party for my church and when he felt I wasn’t giving him enough time he got angry and walked outside to cool down, but you could tell he still had that balled up frustration. That night he shared with me that he takes anger management pills and pills to stabilize his bipolar condition. I ended up sobbing for a long time because I had no idea what to do. I was terrified of me cutting ties with him and that have him doing something drastic. I sobbed and went back and forth about what to do for a long time before I just slowly stopped responding. I spoke to my family about it and what I should do and they were a lot of help. I don’t know if anything I went through would help anyone else with what they are going through, especially because this guy moved too far away to visit.”
Are you aware that this is something students go through? That every day they think over what happened and what is going on and it has lasting effects on them. Studies from www.loveisrespect.org show that 37% of the suicide rates come from those with a previous abusive relationships. Only 33% of abuse victims ever told a parent about what was going on. Did you know that 81% of parents believe that relationship abuse doesn’t happen in a high school environment? And even though 82% of parents feel that they could easily recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (around 58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse when questioned.
Half of the teenagers are terrified about what is happening and the other half can’t even admit that it is what is happening. Most of those who went though it aren’t even aware that it’s happening, claiming that it was just one time, or their own fault, but it isn’t going to be just one time and it isn’t your fault. Those who are inflicting the misery are the ones with the problem, not you. There are 5 main reasons why people abuse the people in their lives, as stated by studies done by www.psychologytoday.com. One of them is their difficulty tolerating injury. Their sense of entitlement and lack of accountability quickly follow. Lastly being lack of empathy and any unaddressed trauma from their own lives. These five factors are critical to understanding why abuse occurs.
None of these things are your fault. If you are a victim of abuse, it is not your fault. If your boyfriend or girlfriend chooses to raise their hand or their voice to you it is on them. It is their problem and it isn’t anything to do with you. If you are being abused, talk to an adult you trust or call 800-903-0111 for the Battered Women’s Justice Project or 512-407-9020 for National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. You can get help, you can get past this, you are not broken or worthless.