Hundreds of miles away from Charlotte, another young woman is struggling with the realities of dating violence. Brittany says she was just 16 years old when she met her abuser.

At first, she says, their relationship seemed perfect. "We had so much fun when we were together, but it seemed like when we were separated, that's when things started heating up," she says.

Watch Brittany recount her violent relationship. Watch

If she didn't answer the phone, Brittany says her ex-boyfriend would sometimes leave threatening voice mails. "I was addicted to him," she says. "He was someone that I couldn't live without."

Over time, verbal threats escalated to physical violence. "We got into an argument, and he threw me out of the apartment without any clothes on," Brittany says. "He pulled sheets over my head and tried to suffocate me."

The young couple broke up and got back together many times. Each time she went back, Brittany says the abuse got worse. Once, she says he pinned her down with such force, she could barely make a sound. "Every time I would scream, it would get weaker and weaker," she says. "The last time I went to scream, nothing came out. He said, ''If you scream again, I'm going to kill you.'"


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