• Today we are telling the story of real victims. Some of this content may be confronting, graphic and upsetting. Please take care. At 18-years-old the last thing you want to think about when you get your first serious boyfriend is about domestic abuse. "That can't happen when you're just 18 can it?" is what I would always tell myself. Domestic abuse was between older partners, people who had drinking issues and drug problems - not to me. Surely it wouldn't happen to me. It did. My perception of domestic abuse has changed dramatically. No longer do I think that domestic abuse is only limited to certain people. It can happen to anyone at any stage of their life.
Domestic abuse is not limited to punching, kicking, biting or slapping. It's not limited to being physical.For me it was the arguments that would last all night long because he wouldn't let me go to sleep. It was the fact that if I wanted to have a shower I couldn't do it unless he showered with me - if that's what he decided.
It was being trapped inside a room for hours, sometimes days, not being able to go outside or even use the bathroom.It was having the sheets ripped off the bed and being made to sleep on the floor, having all the lights turned on after you had fallen asleep, being poked and prodded until you woke up. It was having my car keys taken off me so I couldn't get to university that day. It was having my phone and computer history constantly checked and being accused of cheating. It was being blocked in a doorway for hours or refusing to leave me alone. It was pinning me onto a bed and sitting on top of me, threatening to spit in my face.
It was threatening to break my legs.It was being threatened to get other people to 'sort me out.' It was driving around the streets wildly, screaming at me, not allowing me to get out of the car. It was a punishment for me acting badly.
I never asked to be treated like that. I never deserved that.It took multiple times of me leaving and then coming back, many lost friends, many calls to the police and a lot of hurt family members who could see what he was like before I left. My story thankfully has a happy ending. I have been living alone for the past three months and graduate from university soon. I am focusing on studying and learning to grow as a person on my own. For years I thought that I wouldn't be happy unless I had a partner beside me. But even when I did, I was miserable. I was diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder. I was depressed to the point where I was hospitalised twice in the time I was with him due to trying to commit suicide. My confidence has never faded throughout though, and I am lucky for that. I am twenty years old now and am slowly getting my happiness back and I don't need a boyfriend to do it for me.
Don't ever think that just because your partner doesn't hit you that it is not abuse. It is abuse.It is a horrible kind of abuse too, that cuts you to the core and bruises you all over but shows no trace of it. It's a silent and deadly kind of abuse that not many people can see. You do not deserve to be treated like that.
You deserve so much better.