Teen Dating Violence
30% of teens report that they or someone they know has experienced dating violence. (The National Center for Victims of Crimes, www.ncvc.org.)
Teenagers raised up in a Christian home or not are influenced by today’s pop culture of music lyrics, my-space, fashion, cinema, etc., which promotes the view that girls are the objects for boys. Recently, I was able to interview a girl who is currently dating a boy who abuses her.
How old are you?
I will be sixteen in November.
Do you live at home?
No, my Dad left us when I was twelve and my mother was depressed, drinks and takes pills. I couldn’t handle it anymore, I ran away when I was fourteen.
Where did you go?
The first night I slept in a tunnel at a park. I was scared and cold, but it was better then home. Now I live with my boyfriend and his family, its nice here. I have a family again.
What is it like living with your boyfriend at fifteen?
Good, we celebrate holidays together and birthdays, its nice.
Tell me about having a relationship at fifteen.
Well it’s good, I can count on him. He loves me.
How does he show it?
Well he spends all of his time with me, and is very protective of me, he loves me and I love him.
Tell me about the first time he hurt you?
Yea, that was pretty bad. I think it was the drinking. He never acted like that before. He thought I was flirting with a guy, but no way was I doing that.
It was pretty bad, I don’t know exactly how I ended up on the ground but there I was face down on the cement, and he was on top of me pounding my head into the ground. I remember crying out for him to stop, but he wouldn’t. I tried to raise my head-up to look for someone to help—we were at a party, but all I could see was feet—they were afraid of him too. I remember feeling warm liquid on my hands, and I opened my eyes to see what it was and it was a puddle of my blood and he still wouldn’t stop. Finally, I remember waking up but not seeing anything. My face was swollen beyond recognition. He kept me in his bedroom for days, because he said that if anyone would have seen me, he would go to jail, and I knew that too. He wouldn’t even take me to the hospital.
Why are you still with him?
He’s sorry, it was his drinking and he loves me, and promises he would not do it again.
We cannot deny the prevalence of our daughters being abused and it’s our sons who are the batterers. Fatherless boys are being raised by pop culture. This is a call to our churches, pastors and parents to educate themselves and to talk to their teens about this issue. For more information go to www.ncadv.org
By DeAnne DiGuiseppe
Legal Advocate to The Sheepfold