I have been a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault. In college, I dated this guy for two months. It was not a serious relationship, but one day he visited me on campus and a guy said hi to me. He called me a whore and threw my plate of food on the ground. He followed me on the long walk back to my dorm room calling me names and saying awful things.

I thought he went in his car and left but an hour later he called me and was bawling, saying he was sorry and begging me to let him in. I didn’t, but a few days later I decided to give him one last chance. We hung out and he tried to be intimate, I told him I wasn’t ready after the names he called me (kind of hard to even want to after that). He slapped me across the face. I was so stunned, especially since I’ve never experienced domestic violence before.

I’m so happy to say I ended things that time. My sexual assault happened as a teen when I was taking guitar lessons. I genuinely wanted to learn guitar, but I was an impressionable teenager and my instructor started messaging me on Myspace hinting that he had a “crush” on me. He basically groomed me. But he convinced me he was in love and we would be together once I turned 18. He was 28 at the time.

Now that I’m 23, I can’t even imagine being with someone who was 18! It took me awhile to realize how sick he was. I ended it because he started communicating less and it became clear he was using me.