A Survivor’s Voice: Opening Up About Teen Domestic Violence
This is the story of our client Jax* depicting his experience as a survivor of Teen Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence is always clear as day. For me, it started off small, unrecognizable to those around me and even to myself. It may also show up in many different ways, such as emotional, physical, sexual, or mental.
For me, it all began as "playful fighting." But as time went on, it became more and more malicious. They began to go from hitting my arm to slapping my face to the point of leaving hand prints. I knew it was a way of letting their anger out on me, but I continued to let it happen in fear of greater repercussions. Whenever I would attempt to block their hits or protect myself, they would respond with "I'll hit you two times harder if you do that again", or since I'm a masculine-presenting person and they were a feminine-presenting person, they would say, "Block me again and I'll tell everyone you hit me." In fear that their word would be believed over mine, due to their smaller frame and fear of being shamed by others, I let the abuse continue.
For about 6 months, this went on, between physical abuse and mental abuse, isolating me from all my peers, so they were the only people I relied on. Emotional abuse, where they would take me through ups and downs throughout the day, suddenly cursing me out and screaming at me, never telling me what I did "wrong", then a few minutes later being perfectly happy with me again.
The moment that mentally encouraged me to get out of this relationship was when they began berating me with insults and curses while playing an online game with friends. I knew I could handle the abuse behind closed doors, but finally, having other people witnessing them lashing out at me is what gave me the chance to speak up. They heard everything.
I finally opened up to my friends about my abusive relationshp after 6 months, due to my partner isolating me from them. They believed me, they listened to me, they comforted me and cried with me. Most of all, they loved me and helped me get back up when I was down at my lowest.
In society a lot of the time, it is unheard of for "men to be weak" and to have their partners abuse them, especially with women partners, but it is possible, and it happens. All types of people are abused. No matter who is the victim or who is the perpetrator.
*name changed to protect client confidentiality.
If you or someone you know is experiencing Domestic and/or Sexual Abuse please call our 24/7 HOTLINE: 570-421-4200
For more information about Teen Dating Violence visit loveisrespect.org.