It can happen to anyone…
Molly and Andrew
Molly met Andrew on the first day of her sophomore year, and they quickly started spending a lot of time together. After they began dating, Andrew called or texted Molly several times every night. Molly spent almost all her time with Andrew. He told her that he wanted her all to himself and thought any time she spent with anyone else was just time she was taking away from him. They argued about this because Molly wanted to spent time with her friends and family, but usually she gave in.
One morning before school, Andrew was waiting for Molly and wanted to take a walk. Andrew and Molly walked around the athletic fields. He told her that he was so sorry for arguing with her and just wanted to be closer to her. Molly told Andrew that she really liked him but that she had to see friends and family, and in fact, had arranged to spend the entire weekend on a camping trip with her family. Andrew became very angry, and threw Molly to the ground, yelling, “How could you abandon me?” Molly started to scream. Andrew told her to shut up and kicked her. A science teacher, who was jogging nearby, ran over to them. Andrew ran back to school. Molly told the science teacher that she was ok and told her not to tell on Andrew. The science teacher knew that she shouldn’t keep this to herself, and mentioned the incident to the assistant principal before a faculty meeting.
Several weeks went by. Molly did not return Andrew’s persistent texts or calls. She was terrified that he would hurt her again. Molly had stopped going to soccer practice because she was afraid that Andrew would show up. Andrew often appeared in the window outside Molly’s classrooms and peer in, making Molly anxious and distracting her from the class. Molly regularly hid in the girls’ bathroom between class periods and occasionally skipped classes in the morning and afternoon in order to come to school and leave without running into Andrew. Molly’s once near perfect grades were faltering. Molly’s counselor called her in for a meeting to discuss her truancy. Molly explained to him that she was staying away from Andrew but was having a really hard time not feeling scared all the time.
Liz and Emily
Liz and Emily were freshmen in high school and had been dating for three years. The two had all of their classes together in middle school, and spent every day of the previous summer together. Their high school brought together students from five different towns, and was a whole new experience for both Liz and Emily. The two promised each other that they would stay together, even though they had very different schedules and did not get to see each other that much during the day. Liz made a lot of new friends when she signed up to build sets for the school play. Emily was not trying to make new friends because she was so focused on maintaining her relationship with Liz.
Emily started leaving anonymous notes in Liz’s locker, threatening her with violence because she was a lesbian. Emily’s plan worked as she wanted it to. Liz was distraught and came to Emily for sympathy and support, withdrawing from her other friends who she felt could not relate to what she was going through. Liz also reported the notes to her counselor. After numerous reports, the counselor said there was nothing that could be done because the notes were anonymous, and could not be traced to anyone. After daily notes for over a month, Liz was so anxious she could not sleep and did not want to go to school. She lost a lot of weight, and her grades suffered.
Suzy and Joe
Suzy was a sophomore, and had been dating Joe for six months. Joe sent her special emails, and every evening they would spend hours on the computer instant messaging each other. Sometimes, Joe accused Suzy of flirting with other guys. He said that she had to be careful, since she was so beautiful. Suzy wasn’t too bothered by the accusations. She thought that if Joe was jealous, it must mean he really cared about her.
One day, Suzy and Joe had plans to go out on Friday after school. At the end of the day, Suzy was talking with her friend Amy by her locker, and lost track of time so she was late meeting Joe. He was gone by the time she went to the parking lot, so she went home. Joe was waiting outside her house. Before she could explain what happened, he started yelling, “Where have you been? What have you been doing?” He grabbed her by the hair and slapped her face. She tried to get away, but he punched her and knocked her on the ground. Suzy blacked out for a minute or two, and when she came to Joe was sitting on the ground crying and saying, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” Suzy went into the house by the back door so her parents wouldn’t see her. She cleaned herself up, and put makeup where the bruises would show. She came back outside, and Joe acted like nothing had happened. They went out for the evening, and nothing else was said about the incident.
Joe didn’t have any violent outbursts for three or four months, so Suzy forgot about it and thought it wouldn’t happen again, but it did. Suzy always made up an excuse for the bruises, but her mother started getting suspicious. Suzy wanted to help Joe, but talking with him seemed to only make him angrier. She was afraid he might come after her if she tried to break up with him.
Danny and Rachel
Danny and Rachel, both juniors, were dating for about seven months when Danny confided in Rachel that although he loved her and was attracted to her, he had some sexual feelings for other guys. Rachel promised not to tell anyone.
Danny and Rachel had art class together. One day, Danny was assigned to work with another girl in the class on a project, which made Rachel very upset. After class, Rachel yelled at Danny, stating that she didn’t like him working with the girl because she dressed provocatively. Rachel also said she “knew” Danny finds her attractive. Rachel demanded that Danny ask for a new partner the following day, or she would break up with him. Danny refused. Rachel walked away from Danny and refused to take his calls that evening.
The next day in class, Rachel was still upset that Danny refused to switch partners, and wrote a note to Danny saying that he “better change partners or I will tell the whole school that you are gay.” Danny was horrified after reading the note. He was very afraid of what other students, especially his guy friends, would think. The next day, he approached the art teacher to ask for a new partner, but she wouldn’t let him since they had already started the project. For the rest of the week, Danny didn’t attend art class, though he went to his other classes.
Mark and Lena
Mark and Lena began dating at the end of their sophomore year. The longer they dated, the less time Mark spent with his friends and the more time he wanted to spend with Lena. By the end of the school year, Lena and Mark were together almost every day, and were both very sad that Lena would be in London at a writing program at Oxford for the entire summer. Phone calls would be too expensive while she was away, but they promised to keep in touch by text messaging.
Mark texted Lena everyday, saying how much he missed her and loved her, and constantly asking what she was doing and who she was with. If she did not respond right away, he would send angrier texts, accusing her of forgetting about him or cheating on him. When Lena told him he was being unreasonable, he said he was only getting upset because he cared about her and didn’t want her to leave him for someone else. He said that he and Lena should “sext” or send explicit sexual messages to each other, as a way to keep their relationship strong. Lena felt slightly uncomfortable sending the text messages, but she wanted to keep Mark happy so she agreed. One day, Mark started asking Lena to take nude pictures and send them to him. Lena was initially unwilling, but Mark told her how much he missed her and how lost and depressed he felt without her. Lena was worried about him and wanted to help him, so she eventually agreed to send him a picture of herself.
Lena thought Mark would be happier and their relationship would go back to normal when she returned from London, but Mark would still get upset whenever she spent time with her friends, especially male friends. He would also yell at her when she would be unable to spend time with him because of soccer or dance, so Lena decided to break up with him. When she began to suggest they take a break, Mark saw where the conversation was headed and grew angry. He threatened to send Lena’s nude picture to everyone they knew and post it on the Internet if she broke up with him. Lena was embarrassed about the picture and did not want it being spread, so she did not break up with him or tell any of her friends what happened. Over the next few weeks, Lena became very withdrawn from her friends and seemed tired and anxious most of the time.
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