Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said teens who are physically, mentally or sexually abusive while dating usually come from violent homes.
“We see it on so many different levels here in this office,” she said.
First and foremost, we know from our juvenile court offender population that domestic violence is one of the number one arrests for juveniles in Shelby County.
One area rarely reported, but getting national attention, is dating violence among teenagers.
Love Is Respect, a national support group that focuses on dating abuse and other issues, says one in ten high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Those numbers don’t surprise Laura Glaude, a counselor for young girls at the Exchange Club Family Center.
“We talk about healthy relationships as part of the class and kind of when they’re figuring out ‘Oh, he’s kinda meeting some of these red flags,'” she said.
Those flags can be someone who is controlling, jealous, always needs to know where you are and isolates you from family and friends.
Weirich said children who see violence in video games, television or in their own homes can have a dire impact on them.
“Far too often those young people grow up to be the defendants on our dockets in the cases we have to handle,” she says.