“Hi, my name is Joana and I wear purple to raise awareness for domestic violence. I feel like this topic should be talked about more because of how prevalent it is. Age is just a number when it comes to domestic abuse- unfortunately, it can happen to anyone at any age. I was 16-19 years old when I went through it. According to my ex partner, I wasn't allowed to hang out with friends and family. I couldn't dress how I wanted nor dye my hair. I was forced to do things I didn't want to do. I had bruises. I was anxious, stressed and afraid. I CRIED EVERYDAY. I thought I was in love. BUT THIS ISNT HOW LOVE SHOULD LOOK LIKE. I was trapped and I was hiding it from everyone I loved. The control was overwhelming and intense and I couldn't go about my daily life. It's debilitating. It affected my grades in school and my friendships. It's also the main reason for my anxiety.
I wish I knew sooner that the courage to leave is a strength no one can take away from you. I'm supporting everyone out there that is struggling with things that they cannot explain nor say. Continue fighting for yourself, I am fighting for you too!” @joanajarleny