In the final part of my bullying investigation, I decided to look into the topic of Domestic Bullying. As someone who has witnessed domestic abuse to someone close to me, it is a subject I am highly passionate about when it comes to supporting causes against it. But sometimes, we think of women when we hear the words domestic abuse being thrown around, and we don’t begin to think that a growing number of men are suffering from it too.
No matter who it is that’s going through it, it shouldn’t be stood for, and action needs to be taken as soon as possible. I decided to take to my contacts and set up a few interviews with a few people. I spoke to four people in total, but for this article we’re going to hear from 2, a male and a female, and listen to their stories from when they experienced it in violent relationships. Understandably, they’ve asked to remain anonymous, so we’ll call them Katie and Harry.
Katie was twenty two years old when she met her ex boyfriend ‘Paul’ in a Christmas party thrown by her work. It was that night that they bonded over drinks and realised they were a match after discussing their interests.
“He was a friend of one of the boys I worked with, and it was one of those moments where I fell for him the moment I lay eyes on him”. They met up again soon after and it wasn’t long before they became a couple. “It was one of those moments where I felt like everything was perfect, and I finally felt comfortable with myself and my body. He made me feel beautiful.
After just six months we decided to move in together, something which I never thought I’d do. I used to look down on couples who got engaged or moved in together after a few months. But love does the strangest things to you before you even realise!”
Before long, Katie was being hounded by her friends to spend time with them, and she realised in that moment that she had become one of those girls that shut out her friends for a relationship. “I felt terrible. I love my friends to bits, and I spent so much time with Paul that I didn’t realise that my friends were picking up on it and becoming upset.”
She decided to meet up with them for a catch up over drinks, and after taking a photo with a bunch of old school friends, she came home to a very angry Paul. “In the photo I was tagged in, on Facebook of all places, I was stood between two boys who I used to be best friends with in school, both of them gay, who were kissing me on both my cheeks. I could see that Paul was furious, and even though I explained the situation to him, he still remained angry.
That night he pushed me up the stairs after ‘having enough of my excuses’, and I lay in bed awake all night, shocked that he would do something like that to me!”
The next morning, Paul apologised for his actions, leading to Katie forgiving him. “That’s what they do!” She says, holding back a mixture of hurt and anger. “They push you around, hit you and abuse you and then turn in to a completely different character to win you back. You’re completely oblivious to it because you’re in love with them.
But it didn’t stop. It happened again and again, the accusations and abuse getting worse. I remember coming home from work an hour late one night because I stayed behind to help my female boss with a job, and once I got home he pushed me up against the wall and started smelling me, trying to find the scent of a man on me, which he apparently found. That’s when I was smacked across the face and thrown into the pantry until I was forced to admit something I didn’t do!”
Two months later, Katie carried a bruise on her upper arm where Paul had thrown a chair at her. It was then her mother picked up on Katie’s strange behaviour and outrageous cover story as to why she had the bruise. “She went crazy! She was about to ready to kill Paul, and that’s when I realised that I wasn’t the only one getting hurt in all this. I talked to my friends, and they sat outside in the car while I grabbed my stuff and ended things with Paul. He tried to hold me back, but naturally, one of my friends got angry and punched him in the face.
I don’t condone fighting violence with violence, but I definitely believe in standing up for yourself in another way!”
Now, Katie is married with a little girl, Isabelle, and looks back on that moment in a positive light! “Don’t ever let situations like that take over your life. Turn them into something good. That situation might have been bad, but it made me so much stronger. I know it sounds cliche, but ever since then I’ve learned not to take s**t from anyone, and I’ve become more confident and self believing. If you are going through any form of abuse then please don’t stand for it.
Get out of the relationship. Don’t think about how much you love them, because it won’t stop. It will keep happening and you’ll regret not leaving sooner!
As for my other interview, Harry was quite shy about revealing everything, quite rightly so. But he was brave enough to share small details and his advice on how to overcome this situation.
“I had just turned twenty one when I met my ex girlfriend. Everything was great at first, and then came the accusations and trust issues. She always seemed to think that I was sleeping with someone else, or that I didn’t love her. Sometimes she’d even say that I was with her for attention, and that I’d wanted to get to her friends through her.
I did nothing but love and respect her, and then the abuse started. She used to slap and kick me, sometimes pulling my hair and throwing things at me. It’s hard for a man because you can’t retaliate. I’d never hit a girl. Even when I tried to restrain her and stop her from hitting me, she’d accuse me of being abusive. It was horrible.
It was so hard to talk to people about it. I thought that if I told my friends about it that they’d laugh in my face and I’d always be known as the wimp who got beat up by his girlfriend. At first I didn’t even see it as domestic abuse. I threw it down to hormones or something. But eventually I told my friends and I was surprised and thankful for all the support they gave me.
They gave me the right advice, and I broke up with her soon afterwards. No matter whether you’re a boy or a girl, domestic abuse is a horrible, horrible thing to go through, and you shouldn’t keep it all in. Tell someone, someone you trust, and listen to everything they have to say. Your friends are the ones who really love you, and they won’t turn around and hit you. Treasure their words!”
Harry is now single, and enjoying his life in his last year in university. When I last caught up with him, he was getting back in to dating and is overcoming his fear of falling for someone again.
I want to thank Harry and Katie for their bravery and strength to talk about the tough experience they had to go through, but I’m hoping that their words and this article will inspire anyone who is suffering from this to take a stand and do something about it.
I, myself, am begging and pleading to every person going through it to be extremely careful when finding a way out, and please be safe. Think about the people who love you and how they are feeling. Their hearts would break if they knew you were going through abuse, and it’s important you te
ll someone close to you and ask for help.
Next time I will be talking about another domestic themed topic where I speak to two women about their stories.
If there is any social issue or topic you would like me to write about, or if you have a story you wish to share with my column, then feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading,
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