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WNY domestic violence survivor shares story for Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Month

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) -- "He was the person that everyone really liked he was very popular," said Jennifer.

A Western New York woman, who we will call Jennifer, says she met her first boyfriend when she was a teenager.

"It starts off very slowly the control I didn't notice it at all in fact I just thought it was that he cared a lot about me," said Jennifer.

They were together for several years before they eventually broke up. But Jennifer says he never went away.

"I know now that he had access to my voicemail and so he would erase messages from friends, from people I went on dates with, family members," said Jennifer.

Jennifer says the stalking got worse until she finally hit a breaking point and faced him in person.

"He had a knife and the pain from that, the adrenaline rush is what sort of woke me up and fight him off of me," said Jennifer.

The Executive Director of the Family Justice Center says they see victims like Jennifer everyday.

"We know that 1 in 3 teens will be victims of this, 1 in 4 women, 1 in 9 men. It takes about 7 to 8 attempts to permanently leave an abusive relationship," said Mary Travers Murphy, Family Justice Center Executive Director.

"There are days it's still a struggle. Not nearly the way it used to be but even with all that love and support I had to take the initiative to move forward," said Jennifer.

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