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As a young person who was in an abusive relationship, I didn’t know the difference between love and pain.
Recently the NFL started punishing players involved in domestic violence after a video surfaced showing Ray Rice punching his fiance, at the time, unconscious.
After watching the video, I was taken back to when I was a teenager in an abusive relationship. I was young and in love. I never left, even after being put in the hospital, because I thought that was what love was. My boyfriend would promise to change and never hurt me again, while also saying that even if I left, no one would want me. When my younger brother witnessed the abuse, I realized it was time to get out. I didn’t want him to think abuse in a relationship was acceptable.
It’s time to educate young people like my brother. For example, we can start in middle school sex-ed classes, teaching students the difference between sex, love and abuse. And help them understand the difference between love and pain, so they won’t learn it in an abusive relationship.