Years ago domestic violence used to be a taboo subject, until very recently. In the U.K. it’s estimated 1.9 million cases are reported each year for domestic violence and sexual abuse. These horrible experiences shouldn’t be a taboo and no one should be labelled as a victim to these horrible cases, you’re a survivor.
I never planned on writing this originally in fact only very few people know what I’ve been through. But with mental health and domestic violence being talk about a lot recently I’m quite happy to share my story.
I’m currently 6 years on from experiencing domestic and sexual abuse. No I’m not going to say exactly in detail what happened as it’s far too personal to be putting on a blog to the world.
Throwback to when I was 13 years old, I got introduced to this boy who I fell for badly. I feel so stupid writing that because at 13 you don’t know what love is. Anyway we got to know each other and got together more or less straight away, this was my first proper boyfriend. I won’t lie, the relationship was great for the first 2 to 3 months until I realised the truth. I started to become more hated by people and I didn’t understand why. I found out he was cheating but he manipulated me into thinking I was imagining it and he did the exact same to the other girls he was seeing whilst seeing me. Silly 13 year old me thought this was normal behaviour for a relationship and we’ll get through it and stupidly we did, I became his only one. How did I know that? Because I spent every second with him, days I was meant to be at school I wasn’t because I was with him. Why did I spend all this time with him and miss out on education? Because if I didn’t do as he said no one would love me, I’m not good enough for anyone else but him. I had to do what he asked, so I did.
5 months into the relationship my head of year found out about this and pulled me into his office to ask some questions. I tried lying but he knew exactly where I was and who I was with when I skipped school. This is where I found out I’d been living a lie for months. The boy I thought was the same age as me was 4 years older then me, doesn’t sound a lot does it but when your 13 years old with a guy that’s 17 it’s illegal. Obviously I got forced to end it, cut all contact. My head of year asked if we’d had sex and I lied being dead embarrassed at the word.
Yes, embarrassed over the word sex. Like a typical 13 year old girl. Someone who clearly isn’t ready for a sexual relationship at all. I knew this and felt this, but he didn’t understand the meaning of no. He was a mind fuck. He’d say such horrible things so I’d give in and just let him take over. I didn’t own my body, he did. I didn’t have a choice in life, he made choices for me and for some reason I thought this behaviour and lifestyle were normal.
At the time I saw nothing wrong with our relationship, I didn’t know it was illegal I genuinely believed this was love so I went and chased him, I’d sneak out to go see him. Obviously I wasn’t that great at it and got found out eventually.
Mums know best, she wasn’t stupid, my behaviour had changed. I became this horrible girl, taking all my hurt and anger on others because of the way he treated me. She also noticed the bruising.
7 months into the relationship and not only was he still having sex with an under ager who didn’t give consent, he hit me. Why did he hit me? He hit me because a 7 year old boy we were looking after gave me a kiss on the cheek because he fancied me, he was at an age were he fancied all girls it were harmless, but he didn’t see it like that. He got jealous. Once everyone had left the flat he shouted the place down got me in a corner after throwing an Xbox remote and a blackberry curve at me and that’s when he started throwing punches.
So many incidents happened over 8 months, until eventually my mum became strict and wouldn’t let me out of her sight, school work got sent too me until my behaviour improved. In this period of time having the closeness back with my mum I admitted to having sex, she already knew mums always seem to know. I told her his real age as she didn’t know and asked probably the stupidest question.
“Mum, if you’re in a relationship and you say no to not wanting sex is that classed as rape”
Little 13 year old me thought we were still living in the olden days clearly. But with that question asked my mum phoned the police straight away.
Now if I’m honest this we’re the hardest part. Having to talk god knows how many police officers to give a statement, a social worker because of my age, an investigator you name it. I had so much time off school not like it mattered I chose not to go most of the time due to bullying. I traveled miles away just to do a video interview and explain in detail about every incident that went on with him.
That was the hardest part, reliving a nightmare in hope to get justice. And the worst part is it took months and months of investigating, I found out I wasn’t the only girl who reported him but 4 others had too. They’d gone through the exact same as me. He seemed to like his younger girls.
A court date finally came over a year later I didn’t have to attend as they didn’t want to put me through the stress of it.
Did he get sent down?
Still to this day it disgusts me, the only thing the police did was ban him from being near me and in the district. A pedophile, a rapist, an abuser and he didn’t have to suffer for what he made us girls go through.
Also another shitty incident happened whilst leaving a friends house on my birthday, I got followed by an old man to a bus stop where he asked questions and began to start inappropriately touch me up. I kicked him in the shins and ran all the way back to hers, crying in shock, thinking why me? Luckily police actually gave a shit about this incident.
That’s briefly my story, still to this day I have flashbacks it’s a nightmare and scares me, especially if I pass the places it happened. Back then I was suicidal due to lack of support, But I’ve survived. I hate to say it but in a way it’s made me stronger, it’s giving me empathy and a deeper way of getting to know how others may feel and be suffering. I have learnt how to cope with my suffering and hurt by healing at my own pace as I never got offered therapy and it was my worst year at school for bullying. I’m not fully healed and I don’t think I ever will be, these incidents will follow me for the rest of my life.
Biggest lesson I’ve learnt is life is not over after a tragedy.
Speaking out helps.
Free therapy- http://7cupsoftea.com