Jenelle and Nathan have been plagued by trust issues since the mother of two accepted his marriage proposal, and their relationship took a disturbing turn on tonight’s “Teen Mom 2” episode. After neighbors heard screaming from the couple’s residence, they phoned the police for help. Nathan was arrested shortly afterward — while screaming in handcuffs that he “didn’t do anything” — as authorities examined Jenelle for bruises.
While the fight was not televised, a shaken Jenelle later told a friend what unfolded behind closed doors: The two were supposedly arguing, and Nathan revealed that there was another woman with whom he had been communicating for two weeks. Shortly after this reveal, Jenelle began to “freak out,” so she went upstairs to pack her belongings. Nathan then declared, “This is over” and asked her to give him back her engagement ring. When Jenelle resisted returning the sparkler, he allegedly pinned her up against the bathroom toilet and wrestled her for the jewelry. Jenelle went on to state that Nathan eventually ripped it off her finger — but not before he locked all the doors to the house so nobody could enter the residence.
“I am crying my eyes out saying, ’Please just let me leave, just let me leave,’ and he wouldn’t let me leave,” Jenelle stated. “So then the neighbors called the cops.”
Nathan was charged by the state with criminal domestic violence, which is a misdemeanor and can carry up to being a felony.
Unfortunately, this type of incident showcased on “TM2″ can manifest between partners. With that in mind, MTV News spoke with Cameka Crawford from the organization loveisrespect to discuss how such situations unfold. First, Crawford states that it’s important to understand the definition of abuse.
“Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation,” she explains. “It’s also important to emphasize that abuse is more than just physical. Abuse can also be emotional and verbal — and as we start to use technology more, abusive partners can and have become creative about how they use technology to exercise that control over people.”
Here are eight key warning signs that your partner is abusive — and could eventually become physical:
1. Exhibiting extreme jealousy
2. Isolating you from others
“Specifically, preventing you from seeing or talking with friends and family,” Crawford elaborates. “If you think your friend or family member is experiencing abuse, that’s something that you can look out for. Before they were in the relationship, they used to hang out with friends and family, and now that they’re in that relationship, they’re starting to pull away.”
3. Obsessively texting
“When we speak to high schools, that’s one of the questions we ask students,” Crawford says. “Is it okay to get 50 text messages from your partner in an hour? What happens when you don’t answer?”
4. Threatening to harm you or your somebody that you care about
5. Threatening to expose secrets
“For example, ’If you leave me, I’m going to do this — I’m going to tell everybody you did this,’” Crawford says.
6. Telling you what to wear
7. Abusing social media or online communities
Is your partner using social media to track you? Did he or she force you to declare your relationship for all the world to see? “Social media is such a big part of dating and becoming ’official,’” Crawford states. “[But] just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to put it out there on social media.”
8. Blaming you for his or her actions
“For example, it’s, ’If you wouldn’t do this, then I wouldn’t have to behave like this,’” Crawford continues.
If you are in any type of abusive situation, it’s imperative that you understand that you are not on your own and help is available.
“You’re not alone,” Crawford emphasizes. “You deserve a healthy relationship, and you deserve love that is based on respect. There is someone here for you through loveisrespect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
If you are experiencing abuse or have questions about relationships, you can contact the organization by visiting its website loveisrespect.org, texting loveis at 25222 (sponsored by Mary Kay), or calling 866-331-9474.