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The physical violence began when her boyfriend picked her up from school one hot summer day and found her in a strapless dress. Soon thereafter, her boyfriend attempted to isolate her from friends and family and, if he didn’t succeed, he would drag her away at gunpoint.When the violence was at its worst, she remembers waking up one night with a gun at her head.“His finger was on the trigger, and I didn’t know if it was loaded or not,” she said. But after that, I was just so scared that when he said things like ‘If you leave, I’ll kill you and your whole family,’ I thought he was capable of that.So I just didn’t leave anymore.” Segovia finally did leave her abusive partner when he hit her in front of their child, but a lack of resources for teenage survivors meant that she did not get the assistance she needed.“Because of how I acted out and because of how it looked, I was looked at as a lost cause [by teachers],” she said.“Nobody cared enough to know what was wrong with me.” Sad or agitated behavior after receiving a text or using social media Be aware that abusers can control and manipulate their partners from afar by using social media.and that they can get therapy and come out stronger.” As a parent, Segovia is also especially aware of the need to educate parents and teachers about teen dating violence so they recognize the warning signs before it’s too late.Teenagers will often be too scared or embarrassed to tell the truth so adults need to probe a little deeper if they are concerned by a child’s behavior or appearance.
The abuse Segovia experienced at the hands of her 17-year-old boyfriend followed a trajectory that adult survivors will find familiar: it started off with verbal abuse. You look like a slut.’ And then it escalated from there,” she said.For many years she was too ashamed to talk about her experiences, but, with the help of Break the Silence against Domestic Violence, she is now eager to educate others about teen dating violence, and how to prevent it.