February is when we celebrate the love of Valentine’s Day, but it’s also teen dating violence awareness month. When love turns to violence and sometimes murder.
A study by the Center for Disease Control revealed that more than 9 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
The CDC describes teen dating violence as physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking. It can also happen face-to-face and/or on the internet. It can happen between a current or former dating partner.
According to SafeHorizon.org teen dating violence can happen to both girls and boys, no matter your social or economic status, your race, or whether or you’re straight or gay.
WHO IS EFFECTED BY TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
Here are some facts from SafeHorizon.org on who most effected by this kind of violence.
- About 1 in 5 high school girls say they were physically and/or sexually abused by their boyfriend.
- LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) teen couples are just as likely as heterosexual couples to be involved in dating violence.
- 57% of teens say they know of another teen who has physically, sexually, or verbally abused their boyfriend/girlfriend.
- 33% of teens say they have witnessed the abuse or violence of another teen.
FIND THE STORY IN YOUR BACKYARD
Finding interviews for this story is easy, and it’s a story you can publish or air anytime in the month of February.
- Call area school districts or high schools to see if they have a program addressing this issue.
- Contact juvenile court judges who may have had a case like this in their courtroom. How often are they seeing these cases?
- Contact nonprofits who deal with domestic violence or teen violence issues. They may have the name of a victim who may talk.
- CDC website is a good place to get national statistics. >>website
- Contact your police department’s teen violence unit. They have covered these cases that sometimes lead to murder.
- Safe Horizon is also good source of information.
Rebecca Aguilar is a multiple Emmy award-winning freelance reporter, social media consultant and a current TV commentator on The Texas Daily. She has 32 years in the business, including 27 in television news. She’s currently the VP of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the VP of Membership for the Fort Worth Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.