“Well, you wanted it yesterday.”
Sexual Abuse: any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do; “crossing the line.”
In a healthy relationship, you may hear: “We can stop anytime, I want you to be comfortable.”
“If you break up with me, I’ll make sure you regret it.”
Psychological abuse: fear by intimidation.
In a healthy relationship, you may hear: “I am sad and upset that you want to break up but I will respect your decision.”
“You’re just too sensitive.”
Emotional Abuse: Undermining individual’s sense of self worth and/or self-esteem.
In a healthy relationship, you may hear: “You seem upset. Do you want to talk about it? I want to hear what you have to say.”
“Well, I’m paying your rent, where would you live?”
Financial Abuse: making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent.
In a healthy relationship, you may hear: “Let’s work together to figure out a plan for your rent”
“If we’re going to be together it’s gonna have to be this way.”
Warning: This testimony contains sexually explicit language.
I wish I would’ve known the red flags.
We started dating the day after I turned 15. At first I was really excited, and he would say things like, “Don’t you want to get married?” But then he started groping me in 10th grade geometry class.
On his 16th birthday he forced me to give him a blowjob. That was my first sexual encounter and I had a panic attack as a result. He thought rubbing my back and saying it was ok that he didn’t finish would fix the problem. There were many more forced, awkward sexual encounters. He would tell me, “You can go home now,” after we had sex, but I really just wanted to hang out.
I wasn’t allowed to be in the presence of any other guy while we were dating. He isolated me, and I had to lie to protect myself. When he found out, he told me he was going to have sex with an old friend of mine. “I have to hurt you in the way you hurt me,” he said.
I knew I had to leave him, but I didn’t know how. He was my only ride to class and he would force me to have sex with him before we left, saying “You owe me.”
He never hit me, but he left scars that will be with me for the rest of my life. Recognize the red flags and don’t be afraid to tell your family or friends [or, if you don’t feel safe with friends or family, there are resources and people available to help you]. Psychological, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse are not normal, and they leave deep scars.
In a healthy relationship, you may hear: “I value your input, what will make our relationship healthy for both of us?”
*Permission granted to share this story*