What is it like to be in a violent relationship?


reading time 7 minutes




© Jurres Date

‘The longer I was around him, the more angry he sometimes became,’ Jacquelien says Jurres Date† She had a violent relationship.

Note: Jacquelien’s story is about domestic violence. This can be shocking.

Jurre: How was the beginning of the relationship?
Jacquelien: ‘I was 14. I was on summer vacation and I was with my aunt for two weeks. He was sitting there one evening when we got home. Later, I started to get a little bit of emotion for him. He was 10 years older than me at the time. That was where the first problem was. We were really aware of that. At one point, I found out that he was also starting to have those feelings for me. We wanted to see where it stranded. We tried it for a while and after about two months it changed completely. ‘

Were there any kind of red flags in the first period?
“He really wanted to be with me. Every time I went somewhere, I got a message saying, ‘Hey, when are you back?’ In hindsight, that was actually the first red flag. ‘

But I also understand that you can think of it: oh, he’s just crazy about me. We are in that love phase …
‘I was in the middle of puberty at the time, so one thinks: oh, he is absolutely amazing. In hindsight, that was not really the case at all. “

So how did his behavior start to change a bit?
‘I had an appointment with a friend at his house. He came home and he really did not agree at all that I had taken a boyfriend home with him. Then he really freaked out, he started screaming, he started throwing things. Where she was. Then she also asked, “Is everything okay with him?” I also did not really know what happened, because I do not know him so much. I really thought: what have I started? I really knew it was wrong. At one point, he said, “You just do not go to school anymore, you just do what I want.” Of course, I did not agree at all at first. Then he manipulated me with, ‘If you go to school, I’ll literally come and pick you up there, or I’ll kick him out there in front of everyone.’

Then so you did not go to school and then you just sat with him?
“I was literally just locked inside his house by him. So I could not walk either. I did not have a phone because he had taken it, so I was not allowed to either.”

What kind of thing did he become aggressive about?
Literally everything: my presence, how I breathed, how I looked at him. The longer I was around him, the more angry he sometimes became. 9 times out of 10 I was not paying attention and just did what I wanted. Also in his house. At one point, it became too much for him, and then he started screaming and throwing things. But at some point also really hit and kick until it bleeds. For example, he would grab me or I would get the flat hand against my face. At one point, it turned into a fist. When I was lying on the floor or just lying on the couch, I just suddenly got a kick out of nothing. I could never really give anything back, for that blow or kick was already so hard that I was already crawling in pain. Of course, it’s an opportunity for him to just keep going. ‘

So you were not afraid every time such a fight started that you thought: could this be my last?
‘Every time. Weekday. This really went on 24/7. ‘

How many times in a day did this happen?
‘At least 3 times a day, at most all day long really. And that for a year and a half ‘.

Why did you not leave him?
‘Pure manipulation. Of course, I get a lot of that question. “

Iis it a stupid question or a stupid question?
“No, I actually do not think so at all. For that, of course, is the first thing people think when they have experienced something so intense. If you have not experienced it either, it is also very easy to say, “Just leave him. It’s very easy: you walk out the door and you’re gone. “But that’s not the case at all. My parents who had just moved, I did not know at all that they had the house, and then at some point I received a picture of my parents’ house with: “We know where your parents live, we know where everyone is sitting.” I did not even get it through him, I got it through a friend or a boyfriend. I do not remember exactly. Each time the word “we”, so I also knew there were several people. My family was being watched, and then I also called my mother to see if it was true that the house was theirs. Then she said, “Yeah, we just picked up the key this afternoon.” I did not even know that they lived there, and then I knew: I can not just leave now, because it’s either leave and my family will be killed, or I will stay, and I will be beaten. ‘

What was the turning point where you decided it could not continue like this?
“I was talking on the phone with a friend. He came in and I wanted to hang up really fast. Somehow it didn’t work. My boyfriend was in the speaker and he immediately started yelling, ‘Who are you on the phone?’ with, you know you must not. “He grabbed my phone and smashed it against the wall. There was an antique knife in the closet in the living room. He took it and tried to stab me with it. At first he just waved around like: “I’m going to stab you, and this time it’s really done. Do you have any last words? “Then I grabbed that knife with bare hands on the sharp side and pulled it out of his hands. I got a scar from it. I gave him a hard push and opened the door to go to the neighbors. They was not there, so I ran into town and screamed, “Please help me.” Everyone really looks at you like: are you burning? No one came to me. I even called the police. They did not help because they said, that it would be a small thing.Then I knew: I really have to do it myself.It is now or never.

Police said over the phone that they get such calls more often and do not take it very seriously. They hung up right then. Then I thought: I’m going back to him and that’s literally the end, otherwise I’ll really see myself now and I’ll do what I can. I ended up going to the hospital myself, and then I went in there. I was immediately admitted to the hospital. There was a nurse of about 25 years who saw bruises on my body and asked about it. Out of shame, I said I fell. Then she said, “I’ve been through the same thing. These bruises are not from a fall.” Then I knew they understood me, and then I really threw out everything that had happened. She said they would help me and they also sought help for me. ‘

Did you know about domestic violence?
‘No, I never told my parents and my brothers. My best friend knew it and she offered help many times. But I did not want to either. I never came home. For example, the times I was at home, I covered it with makeup or clothes so much that they just did not see it. I never noticed it. When they asked how I was doing, I said I was fine.

Did you need it?
‘Very yes. When I think about it now, I wish they knew that too. ‘

Have you ever come across your ex?
“Not even a month ago. It was not intense for me. I was on the bus to school. He came in. I kept looking directly at him. I was not scared because I was in control of the situation. First got he did not. When a few people came out he realized it. I was very excited about how he would react after four years. It was very clear that he was shocked. He immediately started pressing all the stop buttons to get out of that bus as soon as possible. ‘

What has it made you?
“It really made me a lot stronger. That no one just regains control of me.”

Have you ever thought about that?
‘No, sometimes you think: it’s just happened, so I’ll wear it all my life. But if you have really worked it through therapy and really talk a lot about it with someone, then it is very easy very, very fast. ‘

Are you a victim of domestic violence? Or are you worried about someone close to you? Call Safe at Home on 0800-2000 for free. They are available to you 24/7. In immediate danger call 112.

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