Robin Abcarian's article "In Love and In Danger" really hit home--hard. In my junior year in high school I was trapped in an abusive relationship very similar to those in the article.
About a month after we began dating, my boyfriend raped me in my own home. I was too humiliated to tell anyone, and I thought that if I made him love me and eventually marry me, I could justify our sexual intercourse. I did everything I could to make our relationship last. I went through torture for two years. Like the article, I also had some terrific experiences in that time--and I thought that was love.
A lot of people saw him verbally abuse me, but no one knew what went on behind our closed doors. Friends and school officials were really good about telling me to "dump the jerk," but no one ever sat down with me and discussed my troubled relationship seriously.
It wasn't until I went to counseling at college that I realized what I was going through was not normal. My boyfriend came from an abusive home, and he also sought counseling in college. We are no longer together, but do remain friends.
I am just glad to see The Times bringing this issue to the attention of parents and school administrations. I wish I had got help a long time ago. Maybe I would have if I had read this article earlier.