Sophie’s story

Sophie, 17, has left her abusive boyfriend but he continues to harass her…
 

“I’m 17 and I was with my ex boyfriend for six months. Before that I’d known him for a year and he was my best friend.
 
…he read all my text messages
 
Three months into the relationship everything changed. He became possessive and controlling. I wasn’t allowed to see my friends and he didn’t like me seeing family. If my phone rang he would answer it, and he read all my messages to check I was talking to no one else.
 
…at college I had to see him at every break
 
When I started college, he went there too and was in the year above me. After two months I couldn’t face going there because he made me see him at every break. He would wait outside my lessons and even sometimes come into my lessons to have a go at me. Then it started with just the odd grab to stop me from going anywhere. Even when I was out with him he would hold onto me really tight so I couldn’t move from his side.
 
…he badly sprained my wrist
 
One day at college he took my phone off me and told me to meet him after my lesson. He kept my phone so that I couldn’t call anyone to pick me up. We got all the way to the station near my house where I had to get a bus, but then he wouldn’t let me on the bus and held me against some metal gates while I cried, and then he dragged me off down the road. He badly sprained my wrist and I had to have a sling for a few days. I was utterly shocked that so many people could see what was happening, but just ignored it and didn’t try to help. Even one of my old teachers from school walked past and ignored my crying.
 
…he slit his wrists in front of me
 
People tell you to “just end it”, but it’s not that easy, as it can be the most dangerous time. When I ended the relationship, he slit his wrists in front of me with a knife, held me up against a wall and screamed abuse in my face. He would walk out into main roads and stand there waiting to be hit by a car. He even pushed me onto a main road, but luckily I got out of the way in time. Now every time I see him I shake and my heart comes up in my throat.
 
…I felt dependent on him
 
I managed to lose a lot of weight before I went out with him and he knew how happy it made me feel, but then he force-fed me so I would put on weight again because he said he didn’t want other boys looking at me. He would bombard me with texts and phone calls. I once had over two hundred missed calls in three hours because I wouldn’t answer my phone. But I would always go back to him because he told me he wouldn’t do it again and he made me feel like I had no one but him. I felt dependent on him. I have so much respect for people who have left abusive relationships and I hope that one day I can fully get away from it myself.”