In my late teens I began dating a man. He was tall, good looking, took pride in himself, had a job and was a talented musician. We met through mutual friends, we saw each other around often. I wasn’t overly interested in the idea of a boyfriend yet he was adamant. It was quite flattering, really. Having someone so into you he would do anything to get you. He was quite a dominating character and a few weeks into our relationship issues began popping up. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with my boy friends I have known since I was just a child, they wanted to get with me. I wasn’t allowed to go out to town on my own, an easy target apparently. Yet, every time we went out together, I would watch him watching other girls, the same way he used to watch me, I would watch him dance on them, and buy them drinks. Whenever I said anything, he would go off at me, threatening to dump me on the spot (a few times he did, then would come back crying the next day). I was always a strong willed individual yet the excuses I made for his actions, convincing myself his actions were just. I became timid and scared. One day, he called it off. When I went over the retrieve my stuff because he wouldn’t text me back, I found him naked in bed with a girl 6 years his junior. I was mortified. I left the city I was in, I needed a fresh start. He tried to get me back, sending me flowers, notes, chocolates. I agreed, the way you do when you are not only in love with someone, but you are controlled by their every move and thought. A visit home for a 21st, and he had gotten so Intoxicated I took him home to ironically enough, avoid fights with other people in the bar. He physically assaulted me on the street outside his house, his neighbors hearing the screams and taking me into their home. Something I am very very thankful for, although I sat there and apologized over and over and over to them. As a victim you feel a sort of shame, like you are apologizing to yourself for ever trusting the person who could treat You that way. The court case went on for a year, plaguing my every move. I met a fabulous man whom I absolutely love and adore to this day, and everytime a letter from the court came I was a mess. He was still affecting my life. Without me as a witness, he would not get charged. His defense lawyer considered his actions to be self defense, defending himself against my 50kg 5.7 not athletic in any way, shape or form frame. I was no longer a victim, I was the attacker.