I have finally finished this post. It has not turned out the way I wanted, but it still carries the same message. Please read carefully, and please note that THIS POST MAY TRIGGER...
This is a pretty difficult topic to talk about, but I was talking to Footballer earlier about this, and we were saying how there isn’t enough awareness, and people think it’s only when someone hits you that it’s domestic abuse. So here goes, Ellie’s attempt at making the world aware of domestic abuse and its consequences!!*
So first off…What is domestic abuse??
“pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender, and can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse” – Wikipedia**
“Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you.” – http://www.helpguide.org/
It is important to remember that abuse does not have to be physical. Of course, physical abuse does exist, but there are many other types of abuse too, and they are sometimes harder to spot – but that doesn’t make them any less painful or wrong.
Types of Abuse***:
-Financial/economic (controlling your finances)
I have found a useful website about the signs of domestic abuse, if you think this might be happening to you or someone you know, it might be worth having a look!
It is NOT okay for anyone to treat you in this way…not a partner, relative, friend, there is no excuse and it should not be tolerated.
I was with my exboyfriend for nearly 3 years, and at the time I didn’t realise how bad things were. I thought it was normal to be treated the way I was, and it wasn’t until afterwards that it hit me how badly he treated me, and that the way he treated me was not right, and not normal.
I am glad to say I got out, but for the people who say “Why don’t you just leave your abusive boyfriend?” I want to explain, that it’s not that easy. For me, I didn’t even make the decision to end the relationship; he did. I am ashamed to say that if he hadn’t ended it, I probably would still be with him. I probably wouldn’t be at university, and I probably wouldn’t have got my friends back, and made lots more. It is one of those things, where you can’t see what it’s like when you are so close to the situation (ie. in the relationship) and it is only afterwards, when you can take a step back, that you see the relationship (and the boyfriend) for what they really are.
When you are with an abusive partner, it may not be explicit abuse. You may not be raped, you may not be covered in bruises, but there are other, more subtle forms of abuse that can be just as damaging. My ex boyfriend was controlling, manipulative, and clever. Every time he did something horrible, and I got upset, he would turn it round so it was MY fault… suddenly I’d be apologising for making him react that way, or apologising for wanting a life outside of our relationship.
This type of abuser is very clever and calculating. They will make you feel guilty, they will control you but make you feel as if the choices you make are your own. You will start lying to other people (friends/family) if anyone questions anything in your relationship, and you will strive to do better, to make him/her happy – since it “must be your fault.”
I was 15 when we first got together, and we split up just 2 weeks before my 18th birthday. For me, that period of my life has been ruined; I can’t think of it, it hurts.
I want to raise awareness of domestic abuse… Of course physical and sexual abuse are both horrific, but it’s the less noticeable things that people don’t know about. At the age of 15, I had no reason to believe that it wasn’t normal to be controlled, to be constantly asked where I was and who I was with, to have huge explosive arguments weekly…
I believe that schools should educate teenagers on this (both female and male) because had I have had the knowledge I have now, I would’ve seen the red flag; I would’ve realised that THIS IS NOT RIGHT, and maybe I could’ve got out quicker.
I can’t change the world, as much as I wish I could. But here’s me trying to do my little bit to raise awareness of domestic abuse and abusive relationships, in all of their forms.
Writing this is difficult for me. Even a year and a half after the relationship ended, I still have flashbacks, I still get scared, I still expect my current boyfriend**** to treat me the way that the ex did. Every time I do something “wrong”, or don’t do what he says, I expect him to shout at me, maybe even hurt me, but he won’t. It’s difficult to adjust to a “normal” relationship, and it must be a lot of hard work for him.
I’m one of the lucky ones; I am here to tell the tale, and I’m free from the ex’s grips. But not everyone is that lucky; so if you know anyone and you think they may be in an abusive relationship, or if you yourself recognise the things I am saying, please help them get out!
*I am not an expert on this, everything I say in this post is either information I’ve found on websites or my own opinions
**Not a very reliable source, but who doesn’t love Wikipedia?
***I have made a list of lots of different types of abuse, however this is not an exhaustive list.
****Who is lovely, and not abusive in any way