Kristin McCovery was seventeen when her long-term high school relationship turned violent. At the hands of her boyfriend, Kristin experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse until she left home for college.
Teen dating violence occurs in all socio-economic, racial, educational, and age groups. According to the Department of Justice, girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
McCovery ended her abusive relationship the summer before going away to college. She found support through talking to her family and friends about what she had gone through.
Today, McCovery is focusing on herself; “At the start of college I promised myself to never get involved in another abuse relationship and only get involved in things that make me happy and a better me.”
February, which is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, is an ideal time to emphasize to adolescents the importance of healthy, positive, consensual relationships. “Sexual violence affects all aspects of a teenager’s life as well as his or her future relationships. It also has a big impact on the lives of a victim’s friends and family,” said Katherine Hull, vice president for communications at RAINN.
McCovery has made it a mission upon herself to talk to other about abuse. She has used the RAINN Speakers Bureau  as an outlet to help others. Kristin uses her message, “Someone who loves you will never hurt you” to encourage other survivors to not be afraid.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org .
Learn more about becoming a member of RAINN's Speakers Bureau .