5 Helpful Things To Say To Someone Being Abused

5 Helpful Things To Say To Someone Being Abused [EXPERT]
Contributor
Love, Self

My story of abuse, and how people could have helped me leave him earlier.

The other day I got a call from a worried parent, concerned about her 17-year-old daughter who is in an abusive relationship. She asked about what she could do and how she could get her daughter away from him. A question I am sure is mirrored by lots of worried parents, friends or co-workers who know someone they care about is in an abusive relationship but don't know what to do about it. I thought long and hard before I answered this parent and I just said, "Be there for her."

How do I know that is the right advice? Surly there is more we can do? Well I know, I have been there. A story I tell very rarely but it feels that in domestic violence month, this is a story I should share, if not only to give hope to other young girls and mothers out there. As an ex-police officer, an ex-Disney employee and now an author and TV star, my murky past has stayed somewhat murky, but it is time to spill the beans. 

I met the man of my dreams, or so I thought, when I was in my teens. He was tall, blond, and blue-eyed, had a motorbike and was in "the Gang"; this was the 80's after all. I fell for him hook, line and sinker, and we were madly in love.  The abuse started small. Telling me what I could and could not wear, where I could and could not go, who IHe could and could not look at and to be honest I thought it was sweet, nice that he loved me that much. It made me feel so great to be so wanted.

I started skipping college to be with him, dumping old friends he didn't like and changing my hair to a style he felt was more appealing. I know, all the signs were there, but I thought I was going to be with him forever.  This went on for months and everyone thought we were the perfect couple, as did I. A few people questioned why I never saw my friends, but I had found the person I was going to marry, so I didn't care.

As the relationship got more intense, so did the controlling, and it came to a head when I went to a college interview, which meant that I would have to leave him. I went to that interview with a black eye and a much-bruised ego. I still remember the first time he hit me, all because I said I was going to this interview.

Why didn't I tell anyone?

Firstly, I blamed myself for winding him up. I blamed myself for wanting to leave and get ahead in my life, and he was apologetic. I knew it was wrong and I knew I needed out, but leaving such a controlling man is not that easy and I needed a cover or some excuse.

I did try to leave him once, but he got into a fight and got stabbed, which I blamed myself for, and another time he jumped off a building. Hard to think at such a young age that you hold someone's life in your hands. I really thought I could save him.

More love advice from YourTango:

Author
Contributor

Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.
Contributor

Explore YourTango