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Victim

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I am a victim of abuse.

I didn’t know what it was while it was happening. I thought he loved me, at least that’s what he told me. He told me that this was normal for relationships, and I believed him because I didn’t know better, considering this was my first ‘relationship’. He forced me to do things that I didn’t want to do. He made me lose my relationships with my family and friends. He was the only one that I would see.  

He ruined me.

And I didn’t know it.

I also didn’t know that it wasn’t just me. There were, and still are, plenty of other girls and guys, that were in the same position as I was. They were, and maybe still are, in unhealthy or abusive relationships that affect them in deeper ways than anyone would ever know. According to Love Is Respect, 1.5 million high school students have been in an abusive relationship. But only 33% admitted to themselves and others that they were being abused.

The summer after this abusive relationship ended, I started to change in more ways than one. I would sneak out of my house late at night and meet up with people who were not helping me; they were hurting me.

They helped me numb the pain of what I had gone through the previous months but they weren’t helping me.

It took nearly a year to finally admitted to myself and the people around me that I had been abused. And that’s when I started becoming myself again.

High school students tend to be the ones that are more susceptible to the actions of abuse, whether that be physical, sexual, or psychological says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many even believe that ‘it’ll never happen to me’, but the harsh reality is that nearly one in three teenagers will be in an abusive relationship according to DoSomething.org.

Physical abuse is the biggest term that is tied into the whole ideal of being abused, which may be true, but psychological abuse is one of the top forms, too.

In high school relationships in which abuse is occurring it is most likely sexual or psychological.

Often when people hear about sexual abuse between two people in a relationship, they might question it, because some people might believe that if you are dating someone, then any sexual activity or behavior is allowed, which is far from the truth.

The popular statement “no means no”, arose after multiple cases of rape and sexual assault were brought brought up through the court systems. But, many of these cases had surfaced years after the initial incident had happened. Abuse victims need this help before they are even able to understand or know themselves that they are in an abusive relationship.

The victims of abuse do not have years or months that they can just stand by and endure all of these harms that abuse can cause them.

This topic, to some, is very hard for outsiders to understand, because there is a social stigma against talking about abuse.

Because of this, some people who are victims of abuse tend to keep quiet about it.

I have even heard some people claim that the victim needs to be able to stand up for themselves and seek the help that they need. They say that there are plenty of options and outlets to seek out and there’s always the option of leaving the relationship.

Some have even said that if they were to see physical abuse occur, they may step in and say something. I have also heard a student say that he is more likely to step in if the abusive relationship is verbal and goes too far.

Which is a big step in the right direction of ending this horrible issue, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to prevent the other forms of abuse.

But what about the sexual or psychological abuse? When would they get their help?

In a study, 90% of high school students claimed to have seen or witnessed some type of abuse in a fellow classmate’s relationship, but most never speak out about it says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But what about if the victim gets out of the relationship? What happens to them? Some of the after effects of the victim include: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and suicidal attempts. How are we helping them avoid these problems that they face?

But, only ⅓ of the victims come forward and seek the help they need, that means that 66% of victims are still hiding and trying to heal themselves from what they went through, and often, these forms of are not healthy for them.

For months I had participated in risky and some dangerous behavior and activities. I was a mess and had no idea how to cope with this huge problem.

After hitting my breaking point — of wishing that I was no longer here to have to endure this pain that I woke up to and fell asleep with — I decided to seek the help of my parents and older sister.

I went to a doctor who diagnosed me with an eating disorder and post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) brought on depression. I got help through therapy and the support of all the people that were close to me.

However, that’s just one story. There is still a girl or a boy out there that is hiding and keeping this secret of theirs and it is, no doubt, eating them from the inside out.

Speak out and try to seek the help you may need. As a victim speaking to other victims, or someone who knows of abuse occurring in a relationship, speak up. Get the help you need. It is hard, but it isn’t impossible. You’re not alone.

 

Resources Can be Found Here

About the Writer
Jessica Nelson, Reporter

I am a senior here at KD and am an active student in many school activities. Many of these activities include RAMS team, class officer for the senior class, health careers club, and much more. I am an avid reader and writer and can often be found spending my free time reading a new book or trying to write my own short stories. I plan on attending college next year to become a high school English teacher and possibly minoring in journalism or creative writing.

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