Dating violence - former victim speaks out

Studies show that one in five high school girls say they’ve been victims of dating violence. But it’s an issue for women of all ages.

Experts say abusers typically blame their victims while exerting control. Monitoring phone calls, tracking a person’s whereabouts and threats of potential abuse are all red flags.

“I said I'd be home at 4:15 and I'd be home at 4:17 and that would be a really big deal," said a woman ABC7 is calling “Rebecca” in an effort to protect her anonymity. "He had a list of people he forbade me to call or get in touch with."

“Rebecca” says her boyfriend’s control issues eventually escalated into verbal abuse. She became scared, stressed and began losing weight.

"I really loved him,” noted “Rebecca”. “And I felt that he had had such a terrible childhood that maybe I could help him."

With the help of friends, “Rebecca” eventually got a restraining order against her boyfriend and changed the locks on her home.

Experts suggest that if you have a friend who you suspect is in an abusive dating situation that you talk to them and warn them in a loving manner.

You should also check out your county’s free and anonymous services for both victims and abusers.

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