Overcoming Relationship Abuse

 (Derrick Smith)

(Derrick Smith)


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

A lot of people at some point in their lives have experienced relationship abuse. Children grow up in families seeing their parents or siblings argue and fight, which affects the child or children mentally and psychologically. Teenagers are also targets of relationship abuse which can affect their bodies and minds, therefore causing them to turn to drugs and alcohol.

Amanda Parker is a 23-year-old student of Skyline College majoring in accounting and has also experienced relationship abuse for 13 years of her life. Born and raised by her mother and step-father, drugs were easy access to Parker growing up as teenager. In her early teen years, Parker was introduced to drugs in which she used while in a relationship with her abusive boyfriend, who dominated and controlled her life.

Drugs and alcohol could have been a contributing factor for Parker’s abusive and physical relationship. Watching her brother, who was seven years younger, mother and step-father use drugs caused the first year of her relationship her boyfriend became verbally abusive and controlling. Three years later he became physically abusive, where he would grab her arm or neck in public and threatened her if she didn’t do what he wanted her to do.

Drugs were the main factor for the behavior of Parker’s boyfriend. When they both used drugs he became jealous, possessive, and controlling. When she went to work he would call her cell phone and ask where she is and also screen her phone calls to catch her in a lie to prove she said one thing or another. On several occasions he would call her mother’s house and tell her to come home or warn her not to see her parents. He wanted her to spend all her time with him and not visit friends and family, Parker said.

Parker received a wake-up call when her son was born with drugs in his system. Since that calling she has discontinued her former relationship with her ex-boyfriend, where she now spends uninterrupted time loving and appreciating her boys. When she’s not in school she likes to spend active time with her kid’s, playing park-n-recreation, having pizza, shopping in the malls, attending her support groups, continuing her active duty in the trio club at Skyline College, and volunteering with a support group.

“Volunteering and supporting women who may have experienced or overcame relationship abuse and being open as a parent has made me a stronger woman,” said Parker. “There’s hope, be open and don’t hide yourself.”

Parker says she will no longer let anyone take advantage of her and she continues to be as open as possible with everyone who she communicates with.

Javier Urena is a counselor for CalWORKs, who assists students from San Mateo and San Francisco counties who are in transition. During the semester, Urena meets three times with CalWORKs students to follow up with Student’s Education Plan (SEP), which should be in compliance with welfare to work and approved by a social worker. CalWORKs students are referred by financial aid, social workers, or the county employment services.

CalWORKs will be inviting CORA- Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse- to Skyline College Thursday May 21, 1:30 – 2:30p.m. in Building 6 – Room 207- for a workshop. Cherie Querol Moreno is moderator for the event. For more information, contact: Javier Urena, CalWORKs Counselor at (650) 738-4443.