“Fear of their life, fear of losing their reputation and fear of what might happen to their other family members.” Moore also said—from personal experience—some partners begin to put down the woman, therefore breaking her self-esteem and causing her to believe the abusive partner is right, which can also be a reason for not leaving the violent situation.Although some teens want to leave their violent relationship, Yeakle said some are scared to go to friends, family or other adults.
Indiana ranks higher in teen dating violence than the national average, according to the Adolescent Dating Violence in Indiana study conducted by Ball State University and the Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center.
Colleen Yeakles, coordinator of Prevention Initiatives at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), said teen-dating violence has always been prevalent.
“I think teen-dating violence has been a problem as long as adult domestic violence has been,” Yeakles said.
“We just haven’t been able to talk about it, but it’s been a problem forever.” Terry Moore, executive director and co-founder of Beacon of Hope, agrees and said they have seen a rise in teen-dating violence in the last four years.
However, both ICADV and Beacon of Hope offer more help for teens in violent relationships.
Beacon of Hope offers a Teen Talk Outreach Program (TTOP), which partners with schools and other organizations to tell students about teen dating violence.
The students are also given a pre-test about dating violence and a post-test, with one question being if they are in a violent relationship.
According to the Ball State University study, teen-dating violence is “the physical, sexual, or psychological and/or emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking.” In 2011, Indiana high school students reported 11.3 percent of teen dating violence, compared to 9.4 percent of teens reporting dating violence in the U. Yeakles said there are many reasons why teens submit themselves to dating violence.
“We have normalized violence to such a degree that we don’t even see it unless it’s extreme,” Yeakles said.
“We accept power and discriminatory power based on gender, on race and on sexual orientation.
We just allow that to happen.” Moore agrees, and believes there is more reasoning to why teens submit themselves to dating violence. 1 reason why teens and women have a hard time getting out of domestic violence situations is because of fear,” Moore said.