Teen dating violence is a growing concern

Posted at 5:11 PM, Sep 21, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dating violence is intimate partner violence that occurs between two people in a close relationship. The abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual, and it's a growing concern among teens.

The Yates Center in Kansas City, Kansas, a domestic violence agency, works one-on-one with teens to help them identify and escape teen domestic violence.

Durriyyah Anderson works with teens at the Yates Center.

"They're not even necessarily aware at times of what an abusive relationship looks like. In many cases, we are products of our environment. If something is normal to you, then you will go out and repeat what is normal to you," said Anderson.

UMKC senior Jamie Powell is the president of the Multicultural Student Organization. She's used to having tough conversations with underclassmen.

"Girls at my high school who were in a relationship and their boyfriend would like push them to the ground in front of everybody," said Powell. "At that age, that's just what crazy love was supposed to be or what high school love was. It was crazy, it was dramatic," said Powell.

Powell believes pop culture and social media play a huge role in why teens continue the cycle of abuse.

According to the CDC, 21 percent of teen girls and 10 percent of teen boys experience physical or sexual dating violence.

These negative experiences can lead to depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.