“At that moment in time, I was sure that my life would come to an end.”
On Dec. 15, 2005 Amanda Greene, now a Senior majoring in Criminal Justice, found herself in a life or death situation that opened her eyes to the importance of her existence.
Starting at the age of 16, Greene began a two-year, intimate relationship with Anthony Johnson, a man nine years older than her.
“I was young and naïve,” explained Greene. “He was cute, seemed extremely into me, and like any girl that age, the fact that he had money he was openly willing to spend on me, drew me right in.”
With an abundance of material gifts and an overwhelming sense, of what she thought was love, Greene was blind-sided by several clues which eventually led to a disastrous dating situation.
The first, several months, that the couple spent together flowed without a hitch, it wasn’t until seven months in that Greene’s partner’s demeanor began to change.
“He started to become increasingly demanding, which caused me to question what was taking place,” said Greene. “Although he attempted to assure me that nothing was wrong, I continued to persist that there was a change in him. With the persistence came anger, anger then resulted in violence.”
Walking through a park on a cool evening in March of 2006 came the first, of many, instance of abuse.
Gazing up at the stars, while holding hands, a young man walked by Greene and Johnson. Greene gave a warm smile to the man, with a slight nod to her head, before returning her eyes to the area before her.
“He’d never shown any signs of being possessive, but I’m guessing he didn’t like the fact that I looked at another man,” explained Greene. “The next thing I know, the comfort we shared holding hands turned into a painful grip.”
Piercing pain caused by Johnson’s unexpected tightened grasp upon Greene’s metacarpals and phalanges resulted in a stress fracture on Greene’s ring finger.
Johnson instantly apologized after realizing the pain he caused, by stating that his jealously over viewing another man gaze upon Greene, triggered his unforgivable action.
Greene’s naivety at the mere age of 16 caused her to immediately forgive Johnson. She believed his love for her was genuine and viewed any misconception between the two of them as something that could be pardoned by an apology and the occasional gift.
However, the injuries continued.
During the time that the couple was together, Greene endured: two broken noses, a shattered jaw, the dislocation of her right arm, four sprained wrists and multiple contusions. Each of which were instantly forgotten once Johnson promised he would not place his hands on her again.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.”
When it comes to violence specifically amongst teenagers or high school students, the Domestic Violence Resource Center states that “approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.”
Bruised. Bloody. Beaten.
Greene spent more time in the ER in the two-year relationship she did spending time with her immediate friends, but after every instance, she found herself back in the mercy of Johnson.
Following her last contusion, the injuries ceased.
“It came out of nowhere,” said Greene. “Like a switch was flicked, he went back to the man he was in the beginning of our relationship. He was happy, loving and all-around caring, but a part of him seemed distant.”
The couple would no longer venture into the city to have dinner; they were confined to his home. Johnson wouldn’t drive Greene anywhere in broad daylight and consistently turned off his phone every time he and Greene were together.
“I thought he finally understood the pain he put me through and was regretful. I thought he wanted to show me that I had his undivided attention and that he was working on becoming a better man for the sake of our relationship.”
For several months, the couple seemed to have fallen back into love while the relationship ran as smooth as it could, under Johnson’s new transformation.
But in September of 2007, Greene, then 17, began to pick up on details she hadn’t realized before.
“One afternoon, we were watching TV in his house when he asked me to move his car from the street to the driveway. When I went to the counter, where he always placed his set of keys, I noticed a second ring of keys with the key to a different make of car and what appeared to be separate house keys,” explained Greene. “I moved the car like he asked, but when I sat back down next to him and questioned the second set of keys, his eyes widened, he got up from his seat and I heard him moving things around in the kitchen before he returned and began watching the television screen again.”
Needless to say, Greene never received an answer; she also never saw the ring of keys again.
The mysteriousness of what Greene believed to be Johnson’s double-life slowly began to unravel within the months of September and October.
“During one school day, we were dismissed early due to a gas leak in the cafeteria,” recalled Greene. “Without a car, I would usually catch a ride with some friends or Anthony would pick me up, but since the dismissal was unexpected and the day was nice, I decided to walk to a nearby park to relax for the remainder of the afternoon.”
While approaching the park, Greene noticed Johnson seated on a bench several feet away ahead of her. She proceeded to walk up to Johnson when she realized he was having a conversation on his cell phone.
“I was inches away from tapping him on the shoulder when I heard him say, ‘I’m working late tonight Janet, I can’t.’”
Greene, confused by what she heard was taken aback. In the process of back stepping, she tripped into a nearby trashcan and fell, startling Johnson who immediately closed his phone to help Greene up.
“I asked him who Janet was and he explained that a cousin of his wanted him to visit him that night to discuss an issue that had come up in the family. I didn’t believe his story.”
Greene, who had already been skeptical about Johnson after the incident with the additional set of keys became extremely suspicious after overhearing the phone call, but what finally placed all the pieces of the puzzle together didn’t take place for another few weeks.
After waking up from a nap at Johnson’s home, Greene ventured into the bathroom to wash her face. Looking for her moisturizing cream in the medicine cabinet, Greene ventured upon what appeared to be a wedding band.
“That’s when it all clicked for me. I was dating a married man.”
In the United States alone, the percentage of men who have openly admitted to committing infidelity is 57%, according the Infidelity Statistics.
“When I realized he was married, I knew I had to get out of the relationship.”
The following morning, Johnson called Greene confirming the time he would pick her up. Greene told Johnson about her discovery and that she no longer wanted to see him.
Although Greene, choosing her words wisely, strongly voiced how she wanted the relationship to come to an end, Johnson was not fazed.
Johnson showed up outside Greene’s house at 6pm the next day and texted her to come outside. Greene replied telling him that she wanted nothing to do with him to which Johnson said he wanted to apologize and to return her things.
Greene exited her home and opened the passenger seat of Johnson’s car expecting to be greeted with a bag, instead, Johnson asked her to sit so they could discuss the matter. Greene obliged, but once she closed the door and heard Johnson lock the doors, she knew she had made the wrong decision.
Johnson uncovered a large hunting knife from under a piece of fabric and reassured Greene that her plans on leaving him were not thought through.
“At that moment in time, I was sure that my life would come to an end. I began to cry and told him that I wouldn’t leave.”
Johnson drove Greene to his home and had her stay with him for the remainder of the weekend.
When Greene was back at home, three days later, she awaited the arrival of her mother, Ellen, and instantly explained the situation that she found herself in. Ellen immediately contacted the police.
On December 20, 2007, Anthony Johnson was arrested for Statutory Rape and Intended Assault with a Deadly Weapon. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and will be placed on probation for another seven years after released.
Although Greene was able to seek help, many people in abusive relationships are blinded by love and fear, causing them to suffer further injury.
The Domestic Violence Resource Center states, “on average, only 70 percent of nonfatal partner violence is reported to law enforcement. Of those not reporting, 41 percent of male and 27 percent of female victims (34 percent average) stated victimization being a private/personal matter as reason for not reporting, 15 percent of women feared reprisal, 12 percent of all victims wished to protect the offender, and 6 percent of all victims believed police would do nothing.”
If you know anyone dealing with a similar to situation to Greene, speak up. Saying something can be the difference between life and death.