“I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused by my boyfriend in high school. I was young, I thought I was in love, I didn’t know that love isn’t supposed to hurt.
“I was able to leave simply because I moved away to college. I didn’t tell anyone about the abuse for months and months. My family still doesn’t know. I carried a lot of guilt and shame and thought that I deserved it.
“It took me many years to understand that it was not my fault, I did not deserve it and it is not normal. I currently volunteer with teenage girls and have been able to share my story with them. I have had a handful of girls come to me and share that they were being abused by their boyfriends. I can’t say that helping them through it made my abuse “worth it”, but I am glad that I can use my experience to uplift, empower and validate girls who so desperately need it. My newfound mission is to help girls know that love should never hurt.
“Being able to help others and sharing my story has given me a hope that I did not think was possible to ever get back. It’s not always easy, this life, but I wouldn’t trade it for another.”