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She didn't ask questions she wasn't sure Josh wanted to answer, or make plans with friends before checking with him first.
"I thought a fight wasn't worth it," she says.
"Your whole life revolves around this person, and both sides are doing what they think they need to do in order to make the relationship work," says Stephanie Mihalas, Ph. This is how many teens end up letting a troubling episode go unchecked.
You might make excuses or blame yourself—he didn't mean it, I don't want him to get into trouble, I provoked him.
"It was my first real relationship, and I felt important and special," Chloe says.
She couldn't deny that he had a temper, but honestly, his bad-boy persona was part of what she found so appealing in the first place. When rumors circulated that Josh had cheated on her and she tried to talk to him about it, he got angry.
Eventually she found the courage to break up with Josh, but agreed to stay friends."A lot of girls who have been assaulted within the dating context aren't sure the word the other person," says Colby Bruno, an attorney at the nonprofit Victim Rights Law Center, which works with many teenage victims of sexual violence."But even if you're in an intimate relationship with him, no still means no.Ali, 22, says she was 17 when a friend sexually assaulted her out of the blue."The next day he texted me, ' Did you tell anyone what happened? She hadn't reported the incident, and wouldn't, for almost a year. She was embarrassed, plus she knew they'd make her press charges, and she wasn't sure she was up for that.
"He told me he was going to kill me and what he was going to do with my body," she recalls grimly. He begged her not to tell anyone and promised he would never do it again. Dating violence is one of those things that happens to other people.