When friends saw him push her into a locker, Johanna tried to say they were just playing around. "It [was] the shame of admitting that he was hitting me," she says. "He was the guy I loved and the guy I did everything for and everybody knew I cared for."
After two years, Johanna decided she'd had enough. "When I said, 'I just don't want to be with you anymore,' I remember him hitting me," she says. "A straight punch in the stomach, and he was, like, 'You're not leaving.'"
Wanting to avoid a face-to-face confrontation, Johanna ended the relationship over the phone. He threatened to kill her, but she says she didn't take him seriously. "I didn't think he had it in him. So I just ignored it," she says. "I thought deep inside he still did love me even though he did beat me and even though he did insult me in so many ways and threatened me."