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The following story is one of several accounts shared with us by a group of young people; all have experienced domestic abuse and have been supported by the Ypvas working at the Young People Violence Advisor (Ypva) Service in South Tyneside. They have shared their individual stories to raise awareness of domestic abuse in the hope that victims and services will be inspired to make change. For an audio version of this blog, visit our Soundcloud profile or scroll to the bottom of the page.

*All names have been changed to protect identities

I was 15 when I met him, he was two years older than me. At first I wasn’t interested in him but the more I got to know him the closer and nicer he got. It was like he was different from the other boys, he showed me that he knew how to treat a lady in the way no other boy would. He seemed caring and nice and loving so I started to get feelings for him like he had for me. At that point it took me nearly 4 months to know him, I felt the same and when I asked him he obviously said yes. We were both happy and he started to show me what an actual relationship was like and, he showed me how stuff was meant to go in relationships. He kept on proving to me that he was a nice boy to the point I didn’t want to stay at home no more. I wanted to move out from my mams even though I was only 15 so I did, but my mam was not happy in the slightest. This was when stuff was starting to go different between us but I couldn’t see it as I was madly in love with him. I didn’t think there was anything wrong by it as he told me my mam was wrong and that I wasn’t too young to move out.  He also said that he would be there to look after me and I needed to start growing up and learning to look after myself, as one day I would have to leave my mams so I listened to him. Soon enough me and my mam fell out over it. 

Living with him was good for the first month and then he started drinking constantly, like every day constantly having parties with loads of girls and hardly no boys, I knew one of the girls and soon enough he started going on differently, different personality, not like the nice person at the start. He started calling me names when there was loads of people there, making me out to be the bad person and him being the victim so they would start joining in. Then he apologised saying it was the drink talking, not him. So obviously I forgave him every time but it kept on happening, then it started to get worse. I found out one night when I was asleep, and he was drunk again, that he had cheated on me. When I asked him he said it wasn’t him, it was the drink, and that he had stayed with her because he didn’t want to wake me up. I forgave him, then he started throwing me outside at midnight, calling me names like slag, slut and worthless. When I got threw out I had no coat, no nothing but he’d never let me back in until he felt like it, even if I begged him. So obviously every time he came to get me I’d be freezing and say to him, why do you keep doing this to me. He would say stuff like oh babe, baby you know I don’t mean it, even though I’d be in tears, freezing, angry and confused, asking myself why he was like this in front of his friends and always when he was drunk. I hated it, but I still loved him and I didn’t know what he was doing to me was wrong.

Then it got worse, he started getting aggressive and abusive, not just mentally but physically. He started hurting me, he hit me and forced me to lie to my family for money so he could buy drink and drugs.  If I didn’t lie or get money he’d hit me, kick off with me and chuck me out of the house.  When I got paid he would take all of my money off me and say I control your money, not you.  Even though I knew it went on drink or clubbing I was too scared to say no so I always gave in, this went on for three years and I would not leave him because I was scared. Every time I did leave he’d drag me back in or stalk me and so I was trapped until one day I had the courage to leave him. But even when I got rid of him I still kept on getting phone calls and stalked and threatened. 

Then it got to the point that he started saying he was going to kill himself and the blood would be on my hands to make me go back. Every time I did he’d be sitting there with his drink and loads of pills in his hand, so I would take them off him and leave but he would always make me feel like the bad person, that it was my fault he’s this way, that I’m a coward, a big slut and a nobody every time. Then one night I went back one last time to find he had a friend with him. They were both drunk like usual so I went to leave. He said no, stay and have sex with me. They both kept on going on about it saying please come on, repeating it all the time until I gave in and done it because I was scared as they wouldn’t let me out and what they would have they would have done if I hadn’t. 

After I ran out and he started chucking stuff at me. After getting his keys he ran out following me to the point I had to hide until he left.  I got home to tell my mam everything to the point she got me help with the YPVA Service that help young people and other young girls who have went through what I have went through and get you back on track. Now look at me, no more B*, he’s got a Restraining Order.  I’m no longer scared of all of the time because of their help.  Now I’m getting better and recovering slowly.  Because of their help I understand what to look out for now I’m with their service.

For more survivor stories, insights and resources on supporting young people experiencing domestic abuse, visit our Spotlight page.