Meridian Star

February 4, 2013

Teen dating violence focus of AG brochure

from staff reports
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —

    Attorney General Jim Hood is reminding Mississippians that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and that there are resource’s available at the Attorney General’s Office.

     National statistics show that one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, according to a news release issued by Hood's office.

    “Domestic Violence is a learned behavior,” Hood said in the release. “If we don’t intervene, statistics show that boys and girls who are exposed to violence in their homes are statistically much more likely than children who aren't to become abusers or victims as adults. It is my hope that, through our awareness and prevention efforts, we can help our young people learn how to develop healthy relationships and improve these alarming statistics.”

    Teen dating violence statistics also show that:

    • Youth who experience physical violence in a dating relationship are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, attempt suicide and carry patterns of abuse into future relationships.

    • Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group, experiencing abuse at almost triple the national average.

    • Only 33 percent of teens who are in abusive relationships tell anyone.

    • 81 percent of parents either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they do not know if it is.

    To combat the problem, the Attorney General’s Office Domestic Violence Division and the Mississippi Department of Education have partnered to establish healthy relationship education programs in schools around the state. Additionally, the Attorney General’s Office has developed a prevention resource, a brochure called Dating Violence, which is available free of charge on the Attorney General’s website, www.agjimhood.com, under the forms/publications link. The brochure explains what dating violence is, how to know if you are in an abusive relationship and what to do if you think you are in such an unhealthy relationship.