Campaign launched to curb teen dating violence

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Although the two teenagers involved in the Milford tragedy weren’t dating, the crime has raised awareness about violence and dating in high school. A statewide campaign is underway to raise awareness about the warning signs and there’s a quick way to learn via Twitter.

Teen dating violence appears to be a much bigger problem than parents are willing to admit.

According to the latest research, about one in five female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. And 80 percent of parents say they don’t believe dating violence is an issue, a majority saying they’ve never discussed it with their kids.

“Firsthand, I don’t have any experience of witnessing this but I do have friends that, they have boyfriends that tend to get really aggressive and it worries me sometimes,” said Brittany Clark, a high school freshman.

The latest research also concludes that women ages 16 to 24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group nearly triple the national average.

“Possessive, over protective and you know, like having other guy friends they have issues with that,” said Clark.

Those are among the warning signs. Also pressure for a commitment early in a relationship, attempting to control what you wear, and who you see, verbal assaults like name calling and put downs, and use of force during an argument, yelling in your face, and preventing you from leaving the room.

Tuesday, a Hartford Hospital Emergency Room Physician’s Assistant told of 16-year-old girl that came in recently.

“She came in with facial injuries and concussion. She had been slapped, she had been punched and she had been pushed to the ground by her 17-year-old boyfriend,” said Gary Lapidus, Hartford Hospital.

Tuesday, Interval House, the state’s largest domestic violence organization, announced the ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ campaign to help raise awareness about teen dating violence.

Teenagers and their parents are urged to follow this campaign on twitter with #LoveShouldntHurt.

The feed will start on May 1, which is Thursday, and to keep this statewide hotline handy, it’s 1-888-774-2900.

Remember Twitter is for information, the hotline is to report an incident and will bring immediate help.

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