Teens Speak Out On Domestic Violence Awareness - FOX 35 News Orlando

Teens Speak Out On Domestic Violence Awareness

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October is domestic violence awareness month and one group wants to make sure everyone is aware. Steve and Maria talked to Kayla Tibbett, a teenager who was in an abusive relationship, and Marissa Presley from Laura's House. Statistics show that one out of every four teens is trapped in an abusive relationship.

Maria asked Kayla how she mustered up the courage to finally speak out.

"I think it actually took me until after he had finished raping me and right after that I had called my friend right off the bat. He told me I had to talk to my mom about it."

Steve asked Kayla why it took so long for her to speak up?

"I think a lot of high schoolers, teenagers, a lot of people are embarrassed or ashamed or afraid about how the reaction's gonna be when it comes to the time you have to speak up."

When Maria asked Marissa about those staggering numbers, Marissa said that's not the worst of it.

"Those are the cases that are reported...most individuals especially males would not report it...there's a stigma, there's a lot of shame, it happens to males all the time...girls can be just as cruel as boys."

Marissa also talked about how reporting a case is just the beginning. Their stories are questioned, doubted, even sometimes dismissed.

"Parents don't think it's happening to their child...parents don't want to believe."

She also recommends parents check their kids cell phones because of another disturbing number.

"Check their cell phone photo collection because right now there over 30 percent of middle schoolers, 7th graders, who have already taken a nude photo of themselves."

Did you know that 1 in 4 teens today are in Abusive Relationships? It crosses all social economic boundaries and also happens with boys and girls. More than 80% of Parents are unaware of it happening or don't see it as a problem in their teens."

Teen Dating Abuse is a pattern of behavior used to control and intimidate a teen partner. It includes but is not limited to hitting, yelling, threatening, name calling, and any form of emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen to teens at any age, no matter their level of education or economic background. Dating violence can also occur in same-sex relationships, friendships, current or former partners.

In Orange County, 1 in 4 teens (boys & girls) is in a physically abusive relationship. That means that 1 in 4 of your friends today is being hurt by a partner. Yes, teen dating abuse happens to boys too!

Similar to adult domestic violence, teen dating violence is about one teen using abuse to gain power and control over another in an intimate relationship.

Many teens and parents are unaware that teen dating abuse is happening.

Statistics show that 81% of parents believe teen dating abuse is not an issue or admit they don't know if it's an issue. -"Women's Health," June/July 2004, Family Violence Prevention Fund & Advocates for Youth.

Remember, teen dating violence is about a pattern of abuse. The abuse is consistent and constant. It will not begin with a punch, slap, or a kick, it will begin with a word or a "look in the eye.  

(Source: Laura's House Official Website)

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