He Loves Her ... He Loves Her Not ...
He Hits Her ...

By Soraya, age 17, Texas

So he's the amazingly cutest guy in the whole school. He has the look, the body, the charms - he's perfect! ... Wait ... PERFECT!? So what is perfect? A guy who knows how to hide his real identity? Well, then the guy I'm going to tell you about has won the award.

My friend Laura was beautiful, smart, funny, and very popular. She had pretty perfect hair that went along with her beautiful smile. Every girl in school wanted to be like her. Some even wished to be her. She and I weren't the best of friends, but I knew more about her than anyone else.

She met Juan at the mall, and they made an instant "connection" that was more than obvious. It turned out that Juan had just moved from California and was just about to start school that coming Monday. Laura was super excited, and she wouldn't stop talking about how "sweet and amazing" he was.

After a month of being boyfriend and girlfriend Juan's attitude started to change. His jealousy was over the top. Laura was prohibited to wear skirts. Yes, prohibited was the word. I couldn't believe that she was too "in love" to stand up to him. One day Laura decided she wanted to see how Juan would react to her wearing a skirt, thinking that it was only "sweet and cute" jealousy.

She rebelled, and her rebellion almost cost her life. Juan waited until they were behind doors, and that's when the torture began. He was smart enough to know he should never leave a mark on her face. The threats about what he would do to her if she told anyone kept her from saying a word.

That's when I began to see a change in Laura. She became distant and always kept away from other guys. At times she would panic if a guy was looking at her while Juan was standing next to her. She walked the halls alone and never allowed anyone to walk with her.

One day I was called to the counselor's office. On my way there I stopped at the restroom. As I was going in I heard someone crying. Behind a tiny stall in the restroom I saw my friend. Laura was crying desperately and didn't realize I had walked in. She finally saw me, and I guess the pain was too much to keep on hiding. She ran to me and hugged me. I didn't say a word. I stood there as she cried. She lifted her shirt up. I was in shock over all the marks on her stomach and back. She had scratches and bruises all over her body. I have never seen or felt how fragile a human being can be. A tear ran down as I realized how blind I had been to not even suspect, nor had I bothered to help my friend escape the hell she was in.

I grabbed her hand and sat next to her on the floor. "Laura, I love you so much! You could have come to me!! Why didn't you??!"

"I'm sorry. I was afraid he was going to hurt you guys for trying to help me out. He told me the many things he would do to me and my loved ones if I were to say something to anyone."

I couldn't believe that she was going through so much and I didn't even have a clue. I hate him for all the pain that he put her through. She was destroyed emotionally.

If you or someone you know is going through this, please notify someone. Many teens give in, and they tend to believe all the terrible things some guy tells them. Don't be afraid to tell someone. It could save your life.

I've seen the marks he left on her. She is traumatized for life. Don't let it be you in this situation!! I know my friend Laura would give anything in the world to be the person she used to be, but it's hard to forget all the pain she went through. Laura currently has a lot of trust issues, not only with guys but with girls as well.

There are many people you can talk to about this. I know that it's hard to tell your business to a stranger, so that's why I'm not going to give you a link to an online help line. But I want to encourage you to talk to a friend, family member, counselor, or anyone who can help! It's sad to realize that thousands of girls have been killed by their boyfriends. Seriously, think ahead, and if you're in this situation please seek help right away.


1. He tells you all these things to try to control you, to scare you. But if you seek help he can't hurt you!!

2. Do whatever to get yourself out the situation right away. Never let a guy try to control you, because that's a sign that the relationship is not healthy at all. Don't let him intimidate you. When a guy abuses a girl physically or emotionally, he's the one who's weak. These guys most likely grew up in an abusive environment and experienced it a lot while growing up.

Please, girls, we have to outsmart them, we have to be heard. Don't be afraid to do something. Your children will thank you in the future. Think about it!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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