16th March 2017
Chantelle is a survivor, writer and musician. She bravely got in touch with us to share her story, in the hope that it would help others. She has also written a poem about her experiences. For an audio version of this blog, visit our Soundcloud profile or scroll to the bottom of the page.
My name is Chantelle Hall, I am 18 years old. When I was 15 I got into a relationship that would change my life. The first few months were perfect, we went out places, we met each others family, we were still young so we just had a good time. One day I was on the phone to a male friend, and my partner decided that it wasn't okay for me to do that. That was the first time he hit me. After that it kind of just becomes a blur.
He started checking my texts, my calls, my emails, the comments and likes on my social media. Sometimes he even took my phone away from me. If I was out with friends, he'd call me every ten minutes expecting a detailed list of the people I was with, where we were and what we doing – on many occasions that wasnt enough and I'd have to send a picture as proof. He started to control my every move, and eventually I had no control over my life anymore. At sixteen I lost the choice in wether or not we had sex, it became a need for him rather than a want and even when I didn't want to, he found a way to get it.
He isolated me from a lot of my friends and sometimes even my family. Anything I said or did that he didn't like would result in a kick, or a punch, or a chunk of my hair being pulled out. He repeatedly cheated on me and if I ever tried to leave him, he'd threaten to kill himself or harm himself in some way. I was completely trapped. But I loved him, and I didn't want anyone to think he was a bad person – because to him it was my fault anyway, and he reminded me of that everyday, until I eventually believed it too. I became very depressed, and started self harming. I lost interest in school, in my music, in everything.
Just after New Years, I decided enough was enough and found the courage to walk away. It was in January 2016 that I caught him with another girl, and when I asked him why he told me that I wasn't enough anymore, and that I should just kill myself. My friend was with me and she took my phone and blocked his number, deleted him from everything and told me that now was my chance to regain my freedom, and that I should run and never look back. So I did just that.
I moved away from the area and got myself a fresh start. I got my friends back, my family back and I'm working on building my self confidence. I started writing as a way of processing what was happening to me, and now it's just a part of my daily routine. I found that maybe taking some of these negative thoughts and turning them into something positive could encourage a lot of other victims of domestic violence to stand up and fight back.
Just because he tells you he's asking because he cares, or that he only got mad because he loves you, it doesn't mean it's true. That isn't love, it's torture, and nobody deserves that.
For more survivor stories, resources and insight around supporting young people experiencing domestic abuse, visit our Spotlight page.