On the eve of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month, we salute Brittaney Shane, who realized that her ex-boyfriend had been emotionally abusive to her and found the strength to love herself again.
Her story has been going viral on Facebook after she wrote this compelling post:
“You always told me I didn’t look good with long hair and that you preferred girls with short hair. So I kept my hair cut above my shoulders at all times. You laughed at me and told me I looked ridiculous when I dyed my hair red when we were together. So a week later I dyed it back blonde.”
“You would always point out if I was wearing too much makeup. (Winged eyeliner and mascara most of the time) So I just stopped wearing it. You told me tattoos and piercings were tacky and ugly. And would try to take out my belly button ring every time you saw it. So I took out my piercings and didn’t get any more tattoos.
You pointed out my stretch marks every chance you got. So I did my best to keep them hidden.”
“You pointed out every time I looked like I had gained weight. So I started eating less every day. You pointed out every single flaw I had. So I lost every bit of confidence I had.
I did everything I could to be what you wanted. I did everything you told me to do. It still wasn’t good enough. You left me for a younger prettier girl. Someone you could mold and shape into what you wanted. Like you tried to do with me. And up until a few months ago I blamed myself for everything that happened. You blamed me too.
But finally I started to see the truth.”
“You weren’t out of my league. I was out of yours. I wasn’t the one who wasn’t good enough for you.
You were the one who wasn’t good enough for me. You couldn’t accept me for who I was. When I took you the way you were.”
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Domestic violence/dating abuse is not only directed toward women. Many men are in abusive relationships and they may feel they have nowhere to turn. Men/teens can be abused by a partner? YES! What can a partner do to “abuse” a guy? Men/teens can be abused by a female or male partner physically, emotionally and sexually. Aren’t men always the abuser? NO!
According to 2013 US Department of Justice (DOJ) reports 15% of men were abused by a partner. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. In a 2012 survey, the DOJ National Crime Victimization Survey showed that of 40,000 households surveyed, 38% of rape and sexual violence incidents were against men.*
Male Abuse Awareness week, December 1-8 was founded by The P. Luna Foundation in 2008. Most men feel ashamed to admit that they are being abused by a partner; Help 4 Guys makes it their mission to encourage more men/teens/boys to seek help in dealing with their abusive situation. Please visit their website www.help4guys.org for information and resources specific to male abuse survivors.