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Teenagers and Abuse

Here is a quote from Ocean, age 18.

Teenagers are forced to be in abusive, non-consensual relationships during some of the most vulnerable years of their life. People tell adult females that if you are in an abusive relationship with a man, leave. If he calls you lazy or ugly or something and you want to leave, just leave. They teach that "no means no" and things like that. If he hits you once, get help, if he hits you twice, leave.

Teenagers can't do anything like that with a parent. The parent has so much emotional power over the teen, probably more than a boyfriend. The teenager can't say "Hey, I am going to leave for a day then come back." The teenager can't even say "I'm gonna leave for ten minutes" because the parent can say "I'm not allowing that." The teenager can't say "I am going to stand a little farther away from you" because the parent can say "Now you are just being disrespectful". The teenager can't say "We are getting family therapy or else I am leaving. That is my ultimatum."

People wonder why women stay in abusive relationships. If she says "He did it because he loves me" people will say "Well, thatīs stupid" or "Why are women so stupid to believe something like that?" But people don't think about how as a teenager you can't do anything, you can't leave whatsoever.

When a teen is 16 people will say "Your parents are only doing that because they love you. You should always try to work it out with them. Don't ever leave. Don't runaway. Always try to work it out, because you know they really have your best interests in mind. They did it because they love you. Blah blah blah. You should forgive them or whatever." They tell that to a teenager, but later if she's in an abusive relationship they are like, "How can you be so stupid? Why didn't you leave? Why didn't you get help right away? Why did you put up with it?"

Note: A parent has legal power over a teenager, too. In most countries a parent can still call the police and have the teenager forcibly returned, just for walking away.


Here is the original, unedited version in Ocean's own voice.

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