The Caddo/Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force announced February as National Teen Dating Awareness Month.
One out of three high school teenaged girls will either be abused or has already been in an abusive relationship according to the National Center for Disease Control. This alarming number is something that the domestic violence task force hopes to bring to citizens' attention.
Sgt. Jim Taliaferro, with the task force, told us that they especially hope to be an advocate for teens who are involved in abusive relationships since they may not know where to turn. The task force hopes to encourage teenagers in unhealthy relationships to talk to a trusted adult or their local law enforcement.
There are signs that parents can look for in a teenager who may be in an unhealthy relationship. Davis said that injuries, isolation from friends and family and indecisiveness are three signs that someone could be in an abusive relationship.
Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Sandi Davis told us that 40% of teenaged girls, 14 to 17 years old, say that they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend. She said many times physically abusive relationships start out as emotionally unhealthy ones with someone being controlled by their partner.
To avoid getting stuck in dangerous situations, Davis suggests that teens should go on group dates and always let parents know their plans. Setting high standards for a significant other can also help to develop healthy relationships because the more that we tolerate, then the more that we will allow, Davis explained.
The Caddo/Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force encourages victims of domestic abuse, stalking or teen dating violence to call the Louisiana Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-888-411-1333.