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New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


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Featured Story

Why I'll Never Be an Abuser
image by Freddy Bruce
Why I’ll Never Be an Abuser
I don’t want to repeat the violence I see around me.

Names have been changed.

I come from a community with a lot of domestic violence. In my neighborhood you see couples arguing and physically fighting right out in public. I’ve seen couples punching each other. Seeing all this violence makes some kids think that it is normal in relationships, but I don’t think things should be that way.

I’ve seen firsthand the effect of domestic violence on the victim, the abuser, and their families. My sister Michele and her ex-boyfriend Vincent could win the prize for the worst relationship ever. Vincent was abusive, and he put my sister through terrible things. They started dating when Michele was 16. I was 12.

Vincent used to hit her for the littlest things, like wearing a skirt outside or going out without his permission. As time went on, his behavior became more abusive and more controlling. He wanted Michele home at a certain time even though they weren’t living together. Because she didn’t want to get hit, she would do what he said.

Whenever he didn’t like what she was doing, he would curse her out and put her down by telling her that she was fat (she wasn’t). He made her decisions for her: He even picked the high school she went to.

‘Leave Him’

I never liked the way he treated her. I was very concerned for her safety. I said to her, “Why do you let him do this to you? All he does is beat you and make you sad and angry! You should leave him.” She responded by saying, “Mind your own business and don’t worry about me.”

He told her he loved her and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. She believed him and had unprotected sex with him. Three months later she found out that she was pregnant. He said he would support the baby, but that didn’t last long.

Soon after their daughter was born, he dropped the baby on the sidewalk, right in front of Michele, on purpose. Then he stood there while the baby cried and wouldn’t let Michele pick her up. Luckily the baby was OK, but Michele had finally had enough and broke up with him for good.

Since then, she has changed. I think she realized that she no longer wants to take the risk of having another relationship like the one with Vincent, so she chooses her partners very carefully now. . .

[read more]