Amberís Story:

I always knew there was something wrong. I just didnít want to admit it. No matter how much he hurt me, I wouldnít let myself see it. Excuses were made for every little thing that he did to me, all so that I wouldnít see the real truth. At first I thought that I could help him. I helped lots of people in school with their problems, so this one wouldnít be any different. Then I realized that I couldnít, but by then it was too late. I was too far into the relationship and feared what would happen to me or my loved ones. Another big factor for me was that I was embarrassed. I was mad I let it happen to me and mad for putting up with it.

Eric and I are no longer together. And I thank God everyday for that. Who knows where I would be now or what kind of shape I would be in. This is hard for me to admit, but Eric mentally, physically, and sexually abused me. Itís hard for me to think that I let it go on for more than a year, but I did. And everyday that goes by I regret it. It started out with just yelling at me and wanting me to let him know where I was 24-7. Then I got shoved, pushed, pulled, and hit, more and more each time I was with him. On top of that there was the yelling, possessiveness, and the forced intimacy. I guess I was waiting for the one thing that took me over the edge.

I canít remember the exact date that he hit me first, but I can remember the last time that he hit me. It was the 16th of May at 8:30 in the evening. The night before my graduation; Eric and I were fighting about if I was going to my senior party or not. He had hit me several times, including punching me in the stomach and tackling me. At the same time telling me that he loved me and he didnít want me to get hurt. Then he took it too far; I found myself on the ground with him on top of me. He was choking me and for the first time I thought I was going to die. That was the first time I realized that if I didnít get out, then I was going to end up never living the life that I always wanted to.

There are three things I need in my life: my family, my friends, and my life. And in some ways I could have my family and friends, but with Eric I think I would end up losing my life.