As little girls we watch our Disney Movies, saying to our friends how we want to be the next Cinderella or Snow White, even Sleeping Beauty. Have our Prince rescue us on a big white horse and rushing us off to our castle in the sky.
As teens, we experience our first crush. The star football player notices us, and before you know it were wearing his jacket and cheering for him on the sidelines of every game. I remember my first love as if it was yesterday. We saw each other every weekend until the summer time, and then it turned to every day. The first time he broke my heart I was devastated, We were in the den when I called him out of his name, as I got up to walk away he threw a butcher knife at my legs. The warning signs should have gone off in my head but I was in love, what was I to do!
Domestic Violence amongst teens is growing every day. It is mainly happening between the ages of 16 to 24. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Press Release 22% of teens were murdered by their partner. ( Bureau of Justice Press Release October 29, 2001).
The problem we have as parents is that we don’t feel it to be necessary to approach the issue with our teens. In a survey that was conducted in 2004, 81% of parents stated they either believed teen dating violence is not a problem, or admitted they don’t know if it is a problem. (Women Health, June/July 2004)
We spend all of our children life trying to figure out how to keep them out of harm’s way. We ask the question how can I prevent my daughter from becoming a statistic? The first step will be to pay attention to signs, any changes in her behavior, any uncounted for bruises, or even change in with her friends. These are all noticeable signs, and it only takes a second for it to slip by us. The second thing would be to enroll our daughters in a teen outreach group. Here in Lafayette the Faith House is our safe haven. Here our teens can get involved into two different types of groups. The first one is set up for high school and college students (Teen Dating Violence), the second one is set up for middle school girls (Girl Talk). Both of these groups are designed to educate our children on the violence within relationships and to teach them there is no age limit on abuse.
Louisiana is ranked at number 3 in the U.S. for women murdered by men; let’s begin now to change this number. You are not alone, let us take a stand together to keep our teens life an exciting and long one.
For more information email me at: