Violence Against Teen Girls: It Happened To You, It's Happening To Them

On Friday, we posted a quick item about abusive teenage boyfriends and ways they sabotage their girlfriends' birth control in order to get them pregnant. We had no idea this issue was so close to our readers. We want to mention the story about teens dating safely on CBS News today, but we can't even start without acknowledging those who shared their horror stories. Commenter Skinny Bone Jones wrote:

So, in the 10th grade, when my boyfriend punched me in the face standing next to my locker during the end of lunch for breaking up with him and refusing to listen to why I should get back together with him, not one student (and there were plenty around, believe you me) jumped in, or offered to help, even after I was alone. Magically, there were no teachers around. This is at a "high-end" public HS in a suburban town in the Bay Area. Stunned, I got on a bus and went home.
My mother told me, years later, that yes, she noticed the little cut-out article from a teen magazine screaming "10 Signs You Might Be In An Abusive Relationship!" taped onto the mirror in my bedroom. And yes, she also had more than an inkling of why I was crying myself to sleep every night. But! Some lessons, she sighed, I needed to learn all by myself. (Yes; she's still a cunt. Sad, sad, sad.)

I was pregnant by the end of the 11th grade, yo.

Mock the cycle of violence all you want, but to a 15-year-old girl who's simultaneously in the throes of her father's sentencing for being a pedophile and comforting her mom on the side of the freeway instead of the other way around, I suppose I was just holding onto my "first love" because there was nothing else to hold onto, actually.

After that, I surgically isolated myself from all of my friends, but stayed active in extra-curricular activities and college prep classes and continued working 20 hrs. per week; I'm really fucking lucky that I was a total goody-two-shoes and didn't fall into drugs or alcohol, that my nasty little addiction was comprised of things like medals, solos, straight As and certificates.

Anyway, if just one adult - maybe even an older kid - had pulled me aside, looked me in the eye and said, "Real love doesn't make you feel like this, it doesn't do this to you," it would have made a difference.

She was not the only one. Many other commenters chimed in.

Persephone:
I had an abusive boyfriend in high school who pulled this exact shit. Basically, getting you pregnant is a way to keep you under control and dependent on them for the rest of your life. He raped me and held me hostage so I couldn't go to the cops, and, after a few days, let me call my mom. She told me not to bother coming home since I had "run away" and he held me while I cried, saying he would be all the family I would ever need.
SarahHeartburn:
Watch out for guys who give you sob stories about how many abortions they've had to "live through" or some such shit. It just doesn't happen by accident that often. Serial impregnators exist.
Cheri:
I went through this in the 11th and 12th grade. With my mom going through a nasty divorce my much older than me boyfriend manipulated my vulnerable mind in the worst way. I was also held hostage in his house, subjected to many a slap down and was knocked up twice before I graduated high school. Finally I found the strength in me to break free of the abuse. It took a few visits from my precinct but he finally left me alone.
AtatvistiCat:
I went through this in the 11th and 12th grade. With my mom going through a nasty divorce my much older than me boyfriend manipulated my vulnerable mind in the worst way. I was also held hostage in his house, subjected to many a slap down and was knocked up twice before I graduated high school. Finally I found the strength in me to break free of the abuse. It took a few visits from my precinct but he finally left me alone.
Broad:
when I told my mother that my controlling, emotionally abusive boyfriend raped me, her exact comment was, "Well, you HAVE had sex with him ..."
Collegecallgirl:
When I was 17, I was dating a much older man who basically oozed evil out his pores. Aside from raping me and knocking me unconscious during sex, he once confessed to me that he pressured me to have sex without a condum in hopes that I would get pregnant and be unable to leave him. Didn't work!
Back to today's CBS News article: It basically states that having a circle of friends and dating in groups leads to support and guidance. Teens are more likely to report (and one assumes, suffer) abuse when they are isolated from their circle of friends (boys and girls). Unfortunately, it's a small study, of 20 teenage girls from two Massachusetts high schools. So do you truly think that girls with tightly knit social groups are better off? And what do we do about the girls who are not in groups, due to shyness or some other condition? How do we keep the "outsiders" safe?

Friends May Help Teens Date Safely [CBS News]
Ealier: Kids Today