The following is adapted from Chlo Winfield’s story. To see the full article click here.
“When I was 13 years old I started dating a boy three years older than me. Within a short period of time he started calling me a slag and making threats towards me. Because I was so young I just didn’t think it was something that would happen to me. It just didn’t cross my mind. I just thought we argued and what was what all couple do. He always had a reason for why he was acting how he was. I always felt like it was something I was doing. I would spend all my time trying to be who he wanted me to be and behave in the right way so he wouldn’t get angry again. I’d constantly be replying to messages from him because if I didn’t he would get angry. He threatened me that he and his friends would stab me and described in detail fantasies he had about luring me to his house and killing me.
“I didn’t realise it was abuse, I thought it was just normal.”
In the end I called the police, not because I thought it was abuse but because I was fed up of him threatening me. The police officer I spoke to told me what he was doing was abusive. It was the first time anyone had said that to me. I started looking up domestic abuse online, and read about cycles of abuse. I thought WOW, that’s just like him. I just thought he had issues and that I needed to be a good girlfriend and stick with him.
Stuff kept building up and I realised I had got caught in a cycle without realising it. When you’re so involved, it’s much harder to see than it is for someone on the outside. Making the call to that police officer helped me realise what was happening however it took six more months and more threats to kill and rape me before I finally ended the relationship.
Now, I’m 20 and I’m studying for my degree. Even though he never physically hit me, the psychological abuse had a big impact. He constantly put me down and manipulated me. The control and emotional abuse just messed with my head. I’m speaking out now so that others, who might not realise they are in an abusive relationship, can seek the support they need and to realise that it’s not normal to be treated that way.”
If this sounds similar to what you are experiencing or if you think you are in an abusive relationship then please call us on 01554 752422 or call the National Helpline on 08088010800.