I have been the victim of two back-to-back abusive relationships. How lucky am I? My first serious boyfriend I met at 15 and fell head over heels for him, he had me wrapped around his finger for a year before finally officially becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. I was so happy to finally be able to say he was mine!

Everything moved too quickly, I moved in with him and my whole life revolved around his happiness. He began with jealous comments, asking who I was talking to on social media etc. It use to frustrate me and would cause arguments. He would go through my phone without my knowledge and block boys from my Facebook for no reason.

We were together for over 5 years and although there were many good times the mental, physical and emotional abuse got worse and worse. I felt trapped with him. He was so controlling and jealous that he got violent in a sneaky way like pulling my hair or hitting me where you could not see bruises e.g arms. I also felt pressured into sex as he would argue with me name-calling and guilt tripping me if I didn’t want to, then I would give in and cry afterwards.

He would deny doing it and make me feel like I was going insane! I eventually plucked up the courage to leave him and I stumbled a few times but eventually managed to move on! Roughly 6 months later I met the next person who I fell in love with. The person who promised me he “would never hurt me like that”. He had some issues with drinking and drugs but my problem was I thought I could fix him.

I did not expect or want to fall in love but I did and once again I found myself feeling like I HAD to help him turn his life around. Things started off great but as time went on I started to see a different side to him (only when drinking). He was like two completely different people. On a few occasions he came in drunk and shouted at me, which was fine. Then there was coming in drunk and pushing me, I forgave this too.

All the apologies and promises the next day of changing made me feel hope that he would. But after over a year of being together, he came in very drunk and hit me over and over for two hours. Smacking me over the face and head, choking me, pushing me. He gave me two black eyes, a swollen face, multiple bruises and lumps all over my head and chest and I couldn’t swallow without being in pain for days.

I gave him so many chances to calm down but I eventually had to run out in the snow to a neighbor’s house and phone the police. I felt so guilty for phoning them...and why? I’m now in the situation of being in my early 20’s and already feeling like broken property. I have no idea how I’m going to trust any man again. I feel lonely, betrayed and honestly afraid. Mostly, I feel embarrassed for being in this situation again.

But I am a survivor. I am strong. I deserve better.