Sexual abuse

To Boys Who Hurt Their Girlfriends


Abusive boys,

We wanted to tell you what we think of you. Believe us, it is tempting to call you names. It is difficult not to just spew insult after insult at you, hoping to reduce you to tears or even worse. Withholding our hatred and disgust takes enormous self-control. But we are not going to do it; in spite of what you have done and who you are, we believe that you deserve enough respect to be spoken to; we also do not want to mimic your abusive tendencies.

Abusing girls is not cool. It is not manly or masculine. It is not acceptable, civilized, a show of power. It does not earn you respect. In fact, it shows the exact opposite; boys who abuse their girlfriends by hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, kicking, forcing sexual activity, restraining, pinning, violating boundaries, threatening, manipulating with money or divulging secrets, calling names, demeaning, devaluing, joking coarsely, and/or controlling a woman devalue themselves and prove themselves to be unworthy of respect. We want you to know that most men find abusive behavior to be deplorable and sickening.

We believe that you abuse girls for many reasons, primarily because you are weak and have been abused yourself. Neither of these excuses or legitimizes what you do to anyone else. A real man will rise above his experience and make it better for himself and those around him. A real man can look in the mirror, see weakness, and still love and respect himself. That is what real power can do.

We hope that you not only understand how your abuse isolates and marginalizes you; we hope that you decide to put away your abusive tendencies and commit to treating women—all women—with dignity, respect, honor, and sacrificial love. We hold hope that you can and will make the transformation from abuser to lover.

Sincerely,

Moms, Dads, teenage girls, teenage guys…basically everyone in our society
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