My Response to NATION NEWSPAPER “DEAR CHRISTINE” COLUMN| Letter From 16 Yr. Old Domestic Violence Victim

I AM 16 years old and  my boyfriend is 21. He works and tries his best. Sometimes, I even think he tries way too hard to impress me. Like all relationships, we have  our rocky paths and our good times.

I am not like the average 16-year-old. All my other friends talk to multiple males but not me. I try my best to settle and converse with my boyfriend only. He does the same thing.

It had come to a  point in the relationship where we were arguing ceaselessly and there was a lot of verbal abuse. As a result, I decided to call it quits. Although I did, he wouldn’t let off.

About a year into the relationship, I met a young guy who attends  the same school as I do. We grew close because  my boyfriend and I had broken up. We got each other’s numbers and started to converse with each other. Before you knew it, we were head over heels for each other.

Whenever my  boyfriend and I were talking, I would mistreat the guy at school and vice versa. Two years into our relationship, I finally visited him. On the second occasion, we had sexual intercourse but this was nothing serious. For the two years we knew each other, I would say, we only talked good for six months – off and on.

My boyfriend found out we were talking, saw some things in my phone and was abusive to me. I even had a swollen forehead. That was not the first  time he physically abused me, so I decided to call it quits again. He still wouldn’t let go.

I told him everything after some hard persuading, except  the fact that I had sexual intercourse with the guy from school. Just imagine if he knew! I mean, I’ve seen him flirting in texts.

I just got fed up with the physical and verbal abuse but I know he loves me and I love him a lot. Honestly, he tries really hard to keep me and  pours his heart out to me. He always wants to see me do good and is always there for me.

I see a future with him and I don’t love that other guy half as much as I love my boyfriend. He always talks about marriage  and I really want to be  his wife one day.

I know you may  think it sounds crazy but we’ve been in this relationship for three years. I believe I provoke him by some of the things I do and say, and although I know he shouldn’t put his hands on me, there is only so much a person can take. I think he can work past being abusive.

Due to something that happened in my earlier childhood years, I don’t really show that I care for men and tend to push him away. I think he needs counselling. Let me just add I am really focused at school and my boyfriend encourages me to do my best. What do you think?

– S


Dear S.,

First thing you must come to know is that your boyfriend is not just “mistreating you” or “abusing you” but he is violating you at the very core of your being. You are a human being and as such you have rights. Rights to be safe from abuse, whether that be mental or physical. You must become aware of the fact that in Barbados it is considered “NORMAL” for a man to be abusive from time to time as you have explained in your understanding of what is happening to you but in many other places in the world IT IS NOT OKAY for anyone to put their hands on you.

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When you say: “I just got fed up with the physical and verbal abuse but I know he loves me and I love him a lot.” that sounds very sweet and nice for you to be so considerate of his feelings but you have to become concerned about your safety and your health in the long run. The abuse that you are taking lightly now will leave you with traumatic side effects that may not surface until years from now but either way you cannot ignore that what is happening to you is a serious matter.

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Secondly, the matter is so serious that it should in fact be reported to a domestic violence support system, the police, your parents, and/or someone who CAN AND WILL intervene and stop this abuse from being his LITTLE SECRET that you are enabling him to keep. You are speaking out about it and searching for answers/support and that means you know that what you are experiencing is not healthy for you. HELP is here for you. You are not alone.

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When you say: “I believe I provoke him by some of the things I do and say, and although I know he shouldn’t put his hands on me, there is only so much a person can take. I think he can work past being abusive.” you must come to understand that THERE IS NO PROVOCATION FOR ABUSE. He abuses you because he is making that choice regardless of if you think you deserve it or not. There is never a reason for someone who says they love you to hurt you. Please consider that.

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It’s heartbreaking that at your age you are carrying the heavy load that comes with surviving domestic violence. At age 16 there is so much to live for and so much happiness and good times to enjoy. Abuse leaves a scar that may be easy to “rationalize” away as you stay determined to make your relationship work but the energy you are reserving for this matter can be utilized for your plans for a safe and violence free future. You have to know that you are at the beginning of a beautiful life of love. Don’t stop where you are because the person you are with is an abuser. Wondering when he will change is not something you should be considering because he is in fact showing you who he is. If you want someone different, you have to leave him alone.

There is so much more I can say. I have shared many more of my thoughts and experiences online if you review them and find any of that information helpful. Otherwise, you have local resources you can pursue by contacting the Save Foundation:

43-ABUSE (432-2873) NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE

Emergency Numbers

Police – 211
Ambulance – 511
Fire – 311
Directory Assistance – 411
Operator – 0


YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Stay safe. Keep speaking out.
-Tru Focus-

Published by: focusbarbados

Our focus determines our reality. I am a writer/blogger with a mission to expose the blinders preventing a progressive vision for a healthy and safe Barbados. The people, citizens and tourists, can no longer perish due to a lack of knowledge while the blind lead the blind. I am committed to raising awareness for the purposes of social reform and for the sake of Bajan children who are being abused and become abusers. I am focused.

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