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Imperfect Boyfriend

Reading this article ("He Seemed Like the Perfect Boyfriend") has made a big difference on how I view abusive relationships. About six months ago, I was in a relationship where my boyfriend beat me all the time and I always felt that it was my fault and that there was something wrong with me. Reading Dolores’ story helped me realize that it wasn’t about me, it was all about his having control and his being afraid of losing me. Most abusive relationships last for a while because it is very hard for the female to leave. If one has never been in this kind of situation, understanding why women stay for such a long time is not easy. I hope other girls have read this article, so maybe they will be more cautious in a relationship. I know I will never make that same mistake again.
—Mary, Aliso HS

Behind Bars

I noticed that you had a story called "Behind Bars." I read about the first girl named Elizabeth who was a chronic runaway. Elizabeth was molested and neglected for years. I was shocked. I felt her pain. I mean, while reading her story, it was like I could feel what she was going through. Each one of the individuals I read about had me wanting to be in tears. They were all so different, yet had the same problems—a troublesome life. They talked about how prison life is, and how they hear people say, "They would rather die than to be in here." I wouldn’t ever want to go to prison.

I’ve been bad for a long time, but after reading the story, I am going to change quick. I don’t want to end up in their position. Thank you, L.A. Youth, for putting the story into the paper so children like me can see that school and home are the best places to be.
—Karmesha Ficklin, Locke HS

Video Heaven

Reading "Video Heaven" just made me laugh so much. It’s funny because my boyfriend and I were just talking about how we don’t understand why movies are so expensive nowadays. They’re getting way out of hand and I don’t think that’s right. It cost my boyfriend and me $20 just for the two of us. Imagine how many movies I can rent with $20.
People are just so rude when you’re at the theater too. I mean seriously, why bring your little baby to an action movie? And didn’t you get taught to eat with your mouth closed! How rude can you get? Maybe they shouldn’t crowd the theater as much as they do ’cause sometimes you can’t even see over the other person’s head.

Watching a movie at home is more relaxing anyway. You can wear whatever you want, sit however you want and stop and rewind the movie when you want. Yeah, I think I’ll stick to the movies at home.
—Lydia Sosa