So, it is February already. A month which is heavily associated with love, relationships and appreciating your other half. Or, for us singletons a time to go out and mingle with other singletons whilst everyone in relationships canoodles at home!
However, what some of you may not be aware of is that it is also teen dating violence awareness month. Quite a contrast I must say. I’m sure most of you remember being a drunk in love teenager. It is far more intense than what you feel in your adult years. It’s like the whole world revolves around the person you are with and your almost sure you will be together forever. You would do anything to keep them and it becomes almost an addiction.
You can’t escape something that you cannot define and often in circumstances like this those who are violent are often manipulative. They convince you that you are the problem, that you deserve the abuse you are receiving and that if anything you are ‘over exaggerating’.
But, most teenagers do not know what love is yet! They do not know what they deserve or in some cases they do not know the consequences of their actions towards another human being.
Abuse is a very vague term and does not just include physical violence. There are many forms of mental domestic abuse too. However, you should never under any circumstance fear the one you love. That is not what love is. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it.
I know it can feel like that person is your world and you find yourself wondering… what will I do without them? But, the world is huge and where you are right now is a very small, very dark part of it. There are so many support groups full of people who have gone through exactly what you are right now and have come out the other end. You must look at the situation from an outside perspective and think to yourself. Do I want to leave this relationship and eventually be free to go where I want, do what I want, WEAR what I want. Or do I want to spend the next few years hating myself and feeling like a bad person for simply being me?
Surveys have shown that one in ten teenagers report being the victims of domestic violence. Please if you are one of these people reach out to someone. Family, friends, a charity or even me. Do not suffer in silence for you are worth so much more than that.