Summer: Prime Time for Abuse - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Summer: Prime Time for Abuse

Crisis Services Coordinator Angie Stovall Crisis Services Coordinator Angie Stovall
Prevention Director Rodney Goff Prevention Director Rodney Goff

Teen dating abuse is growing in Amarillo, but the signs of violence are not as easy to detect in teens as it is in adults. Seven out of ten teens may have been involved in some form of domestic violence.

Summer is the prime time for teen love to turn ugly. One of the reasons is more time on their hands provides more opportunity for mental and physical abuse among teen dating.

Local domestic violence agencies say they have seen reports double since February. About one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. Forty percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.

Crisis Services Coordinator Angie Stovall says teen dating abuse is a pattern of physical and verbal abuse... But mainly a controlling behavior.  "Find them in a spot here they feel stuck. Don't know what to do... Don't know their resources" she explains.

Prevention director Rodney Goff says one reason teen abuse is growing... Is the continuing stigma of the male dominate mentality. Goff says, "Due to social upbringing attitudes and view points that support that men are dominate and violence is acceptable".

Advocates warn parents the signs of the abuse are not always easy to detect in teens.  "Look out for the red flags... Things gradually become controlling. Question the relationships. Look for healthy behavior over unhealthy" Stovall advices.

Advocates say once one incident occurs there is almost a guarantee the abuse will occur again.  Researchers say in one year close to 40-females from our area were killed in a domestic violence situation.

If you feel a family member or friend is a victim of domestic violence coordinators say to talk with them, or get them to see a counselor.  You can always call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 800-799-7233 or local Family Support Services (806) 374-LIFE (5433).

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