The Aftermath of Domestic Violence

Posted October 17, 2016 by Blessing Ikpa

I didn’t realize that the horrific relationship I was in back in high school would be classified as domestic violence. During the entity of the relationship, I thought that some instances were quite strange. The fact that he would go through my phone every single day or how I would have to go to his house after school and/or after I got off from work. I classified him as being “overly protective” of our relationship until the day our brutal fight happened.

When asked about why I was with him for so long, I never had a reasonable explanation. I was in my senior year of high school, so I simply wanted to have fun and do my own thing. I already knew in my mind that this relationship wasn’t something to be considered “long-term,” but rather a way to enjoy someone’s presence before college swept me away in the following year.

Two psychological emotions that domestic violence relationships have are manipulation and isolation. I stopped spending time with my friends and eventually cut them out my life completely. They continually asked what was going on with my relationship and I grew frustrated with trying to defend my stance. At the time, I didn’t see the underlying factors of what was occurring and the emotional abuse that would soon transform into a terrible incident. I liked being around him and he liked being around me. That was enough reason for me to not stray from what we had.

One night at his house, a fight broke out between my boyfriend, his mother and myself. My boyfriend was lying to me about countless situations and I was fed up with how he was treating me both in public and private spaces. I wanted to continue with my senior year and not have the drama of a relationship keep me from enjoying such a special time in my life. Everything from our relationship began to unravel and I began to see him for the person that he truly was.

After profusely yelling at the top of my lungs that I was breaking up with him, I attempted to leave his house. As soon as I opened the door, he grabbed and twisted my wrist with multiple attempts to shove me back into his house. Thankfully, the situation ended there and I dashed to my car in order to park in a safe place and cry. In my heart, I knew he wasn’t going to let our relationship go easily and that this would only be the beginning of the tumultuous months to follow.

For the following months, I was harassed, stalked and bullied by him. I couldn’t escape his wrath even with all the desperate attempts I made. Shortly afterwards, he began dating someone else and I hoped this would take the pressure off of me. Then they tried to get me suspended from school and jointly stalked me. I would hide out in the nurse’s office because I couldn’t bear to walk the halls and accidentally run into them. I was sent to my physician on multiple occasions because my blood pressure would spike. My mom worried constantly about me but there was no proper way I could explain to her the situation I had now found myself in.

Eventually, he decided that I was no longer worth his time and left me alone for good. I graduated from high school and was able to move forward with my life. The pain that he caused manifested itself in a variety of ways that I have only recently discovered. All of the romantic relationships that followed were tumultuous and emotionally draining, I still struggle with the idea of being in a romantic relationship and how to emotionally prepare myself.

 

blessing-photo

 

With sharing my story with 1,000+ people on Facebook (picture above) , I was able to gain relative closure on an experience I never fully let myself live. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Understanding how I now fit into this mold, I am making an attempt to use my experience to help others grow. I know in my own life, I have emotional trauma that will need to be worked through in order for me to properly heal. Yet, If I am capable of being able to share my story with others, in hopes that I can reach one person, then it was worth it.

 

RESOURCES

Women of Color Network
1-800-537-2238
www.wocninc.org

INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence

incite.natl@gmail.com
www.incite-national.org

Alianza
1-505-753-3334
www.dvalianza.org

Casa de Esperanza
Linea de crisis 24-horas/24-hour crisis line
1-651-772-1611
www.casadeesperanza.org

National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
1-651-646-5553
www.nationallatinonetwork.org

The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project

(202) 274-4457
http://www.niwap.org/

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

855-649-7299
www.niwrc.org

Indigenous Women’s Network
1-512-258-3880
www.indigenouswomen.org

Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence

1-415-954-9988
www.apiidv.org
Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV)
1-212- 473-6485
www.caaav.org

Manavi
1-732-435-1414
www.manavi.org

The Audre Lorde Project

1-178-596-0342
www.alp.org

LAMBDA GLBT Community Services
1-206-350-4283
http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/orgs/avproject/main.htm

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
1-212-714-1184
www.ncavp.org

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
1-202-393-5177
www.ngltf.org

Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse 
1-206-568-7777
www.nwnetwork.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-4673 (HOPE)
www.rainn.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
www.ndvh.org

 National Dating Abuse Helpline 
1-866-331-9474
www.loveisrespect.org

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center
International Toll-Free (24/7)
1-866-USWOMEN (879-6636)
www.866uswomen.org