That age of teen dating abuse is getting younger and younger. Children are experiencing dating violence as early as 11-years old. Forcing counselors and educators to look to all venues to educate children on-line and in-person.
13-year old Ally Burke has consoled many of her friends in unhealthy relationships. "I've had friends that have been in abusive relationships they come to school with black eyes. They don't say anything and make things up," Burke said.
Educators at Family Support Services say educating teens at an early age is key. Along with going on-line to reach out to those who may be embarrassed to say something about abuse.
"With technology and Internet open forums and chat teens feel more comfortable to talking with strangers about their problems rather than facing someone face to face," prevention coordinator, Ashley Eustace said.
Ally thinks the Internet is a good source to educate teens and pre-teens on abuse. "A lot of kids these days have Myspace or yearbooks my face book a lot of these they get on them quite a lot and if they posting bulletins just sending message. I'm sure a lot of things will get a lot better, " Burke said.
Burke believes with more education and awareness young people will learn to focus on other things besides unhealthy relationships. "The more awareness we get you know the better kids will be and they won't have their mind on anything else but school and what they're suppose to be focusing on, " she said.
To help combat teen dating abuse, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot is funding teen abuse awareness programs throughout Texas.
Amarillo Crisis Hotline (806) 374-LIFE (5433)