ATLANTA, GA (WABE) – Advocates against domestic violence say more needs to be done to address teen dating violence in the state. Those advocates define teen dating violence as a pattern of acts by a dating partner of physical, sexual, financial, verbal or emotional abuse.
A new report by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence studied nearly a tenth of those killed in Georgia as a result of domestic violence between 2004 and 2010. The report found that more than half of the victims started relationships with their killers between the ages of 16 to 24. Nicole Lesser with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence says the report highlights the need for action.
“If we can intervene with these teens when it’s happening, it won’t escalate to the point of severe abuse or the ultimate abuse of homicide.”
Lesser says there is currently a small amount of outreach to teens in schools but most domestic violence programs in the state are geared toward adults. She says in the future, more schools and domestic violence programs need to team up to provide intervention programs.
“It is our hope that over time, we will work as a state to provide solutions with the board of education that will address their needs where they are.”
Lesser says intervention programs should include support groups, counseling and safety planning specifically for teens.
© Copyright 2011, WABE