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Focus groups hope to prevent, shed light on teen dating violence in Indianapolis

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Posted at 8:52 PM, Jun 05, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — Recently, Indianapolis leaders have expressed concern in teen dating violence.

In fact, one city official says one in three teenagers will experience violence while dating.

Leaders from the Indy Public Safety Foundation say they want to educate Indy’s youth early to prevent domestic violence situations form occurring.

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“The only way we can prevent domestic violence in the future is getting in our teen’s ears, getting in their faces with the information and resources,” Danyette Smith, Director of Indy Champions, said. “That way they know what it looks like to be in an unhealthy relationship.”

Smith says the foundation, along with the group Indy Champions, will be going into schools, churches and youth programs to provide teenagers with information on how to spot and prevent domestic violence.

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“Making sure they have the information on if they are in a relationship with someone who owns or carries a gun, how to identify if it’s unhealthy, who they can talk to and what resources are available,” Smith said.

Next week, the Indy Public Safety Foundation and Indy Champions will host 90-minute focus groups to get ideas on how to end teen dating abuse.

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They are looking to gather 100 boys and men between the ages of 11 to 24 for their perspective on the issue.

“The teens are our future,” Smith said. “If we can’t get the education and prevention to our teens then we will continue to see the number of domestic violence increase. We have to get that information in front of them, so we don’t have to see another family mourn their teenager.”

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For more information on the focus groups, email Gary Evers at gary@indypsf.org.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach out to Indy Champions by calling 317-210-0866.