SCS students discuss teen dating violence with experts

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dating abuse is a big problem affecting youth in communities across the nation. In fact, one out of every three girls in the U.S. is a victim of some form of abuse from a dating partner.

It was the first time as a group that Shelby County students discussed dating abuse with professionals.

"The majority of their communication when they're not at school is done through texting," Phillis Lewis, outreach coordinator at Family Safety Center, said.

We all know it.

Social media has grown so big that it has taken over high schools across the county. Now it's affecting students' dating lives.

"We're talking about unhealthy versus healthy relationships and about what consent looks like," Lewis said.

Loveisrespect.org reports that 94 percent of females age of 16 to 19 were victimized by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

To prevent a growing number students identified five things they look for in a partner.

"It gives them more towards being in those hostile relationships, which is why we're here to talk about healthy relationships. So that way they don't gear into those and become future clients of the Family Safety Center," Lewis said.

Statistics show one in 10 high school students have been purposely hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend. And nearly 50 percent of dating college women experience the same.

Professionals recommend parents get involved by listening to their children, accept what they're telling you, show concern, avoid ultimatums, be prepared to educate yourself and decide on the next steps as a family.

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