When Madison's relationship became abusive, her narrative became part of a haunting statistic. Studies show that females between 16 and 24 are roughly 3 times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner.
She met him when she was 17 turning 18. Roughly 7 months after graduating high school, Madison moved in with him. What followed was a surge of emotional abuse that became the norm for her.
One day, the abuse reached a peak that landed Madison on the other end of a handgun.
After just over a year of emotional abuse and seclusion he got physical with me. Choked me, kicked m, and held a gun to my head.
In that moment, she knew she had to end the relationship.
I left that day and never looked back. Not pressing charges and feeling safe have been something I struggle with but it's over. I'm glad for that.
Today, Madison is free of the abuse and uses her story to talk to people about domestic violence. She hopes to join more groups and become an advocate for domestic violence.
Being a domestic violence survivor does not define me as a person but it has definitely changed everything about the way I live my life. Being suicidal due to the abuse and then actually have the fear of death after having a gun to my head has really made me realize how precious life is. It's made me stronger and now, I live life with a happier attitude. I try to be the best person I can be everyday. It's also helped me to not sweat the small things.
Be happy with everything you are blessed with and let everything else roll off your shoulder.
Madison's story gives voice to teen dating violence - a form of domestic violence often swept under the rug. Many teens and young adults struggle with getting help during and/or after domestic violence relationships. Sometimes, it's because they don't relationship they are in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship. Other reasons may be shame or fear.
Another harrowing statistic about teen dating violence is that roughly 50% of young people who experience physical abuse, sexual abuse or rape will attempt to commit suicide.
The solution? Get involved. Advocate for teens and young adults who may not have the words to explain their pain or to express a desire to receive help. Research local domestic violence organizations with outreach in high schools and colleges. You can make a real difference in someone's life!
Connect with Madison on Instagram @mdson557