February is teen dating violence awareness month

When we think about dating violence, teenagers are not an age group we normally talk about, but according to the YWCA, one in three teens will experience dating abuse.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 6:38 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2019 6:15 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - When we think about dating violence, teenagers are not an age group we normally talk about, but according to the YWCA, one in three teens will experience dating abuse.

That's why Mayor Tom Henry signed a proclamation Wednesday about teen dating violence awareness month. 

"Young people need to have a voice in our community. They need to be heard. And they have stated on a number of occasions through the work that has been done by the YWCA and other organizations that they are put in vulnerable situations," said Mayor Henry.

But what does teen dating violence look like? Jennifer Rohlf with the YWCA weighed in. 

"The abusive partner might start to demand all of their attention. They want to spend every minute after school with them, and talking to them all night long, texting them excessively," Rohlf said. 

Adults who experience domestic violence are often first abused as teenagers. It can also be a learned behavior, and girls are not the only ones affected. 

"Anyone can be in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. So, both men and women, boys and girls can certainly be the victim of an abusive relationship, or can be the perpetrator within an abusive relationship," she said. 

The goal over the next month, and all year is to raise awareness of the issue, and encourage parents and schools to talk to teens. 

"We also are happy to come into schools and other organizations to provide training and education, so adults and youth are able to see what's going on in their relationship, and maybe get some help if they do start to identify those red flags."

For resources and more stats for teenage violence, you can visit the YWCA website here. 

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