Narrative teens dating violence
Maybe he grabbed your wrist too hard or insisted you have sex even though you didn't feel like it.
Later he told you he didn't mean it, that he was sorry and he wouldn't do it again. If any of this sounds familiar, you're in the company of what may be millions of others, including some particularly high-profile young women—Sarah Hyland has made headlines for allegedly being abused by longtime boyfriend Matt Prokop, and the reports of domestic violence by professional football players continue be a huge cultural issue.
Ali, 22, says she was 17 when a friend sexually assaulted her out of the blue.
"The next day he texted me, ' Did you tell anyone what happened? She hadn't reported the incident, and wouldn't, for almost a year. She was embarrassed, plus she knew they'd make her press charges, and she wasn't sure she was up for that.
Maybe you're worried your friends will take his side.
Or maybe you're not certain if an incident is even reportable.
"It was embarrassing—my family and friends were there, and I didn't know what to say," she shares. " After that Chloe did "whatever he said" in order to avoid arguing.
"He told me he was going to kill me and what he was going to do with my body," she recalls grimly. He begged her not to tell anyone and promised he would never do it again. Dating violence is one of those things that happens to other people.
Until, that is, it happens to you, or someone you know.
In fact, a recent study from the Center for Innovative Public Health Research reveals that two in five girls between the ages of 14 and 20 have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence from someone they've dated.
And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 10 high schoolers has been purposely hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or a girlfriend (because, yes, girls can be the abusers, too).
But an act doesn't have to be physically violent in order to be unhealthy, especially since, as Dr. Take Chloe's boyfriend, who started out "perfect." Soon, though, he became controlling and jealous, quick to get angry, and, of course, terrifyingly violent. Red flags include constant texting or showing up uninvited when you're hanging out with friends, wanting to dictate what you wear or who you talk to, checking your phone or asking for your passwords, isolating you from your friends or family, and threatening you in any way.