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1 in 3 teens is a victim of some type of abuse from a partner

A local advocate against teen violence says, the issue is more common than many expect.

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — The Ohio Domestic Violence Network says 1 in 3 adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a partner. Studies say that's a rate that surpasses any other type of youth violence. 

While it can be difficult to detect, there are some signs parents and friends can be on the lookout for.

Teen dating violence is at times associated with increased risk of substance abuse, unhealthy behaviors, pregnancy and suicide. Academic difficulties and withdrawal from peers and school activities are also common results of dating violence as well. 

"Every case is unique and individual and you have to listen to your gut. Usually someone who has been a victim in these situations, you can feel like your in danger and not dismiss that," said Penny Tullis. 

Tullis advocates against teen dating violence daily. It's an issue that doesn't discriminate and is more common than many might expect.

"Statistics show that it can happen to any young person... and that adults have no idea of the scope of the problem," she said. 

Tullis said when it gets physical, there are usually signs of emotional abuse first but there are some consistent signs to be aware of too. 

"Somebody who's starting to keep tabs on the person, who's starting to criticizes them, starting excessive signs of jealousy, not wanting them to spend time with their friends and family."

And while it's rare that someone dies Tullis said she has seen it in the northwest Ohio community, so having conversations with your kids about what healthy relationships look like is vital. It's also important to know as a parent, your child may turn to friends first.

"Teens often to to their friends instead of adults when they're in those types of stressful situations. "

But the most important thing you can do as a parent or friend, is be attentive.

"Sometimes you know, we can brush it over. WE see a little thing an interaction, but just making note of that and having those conversations with the young person," said Tullis.

If you or believe someone you know is experiencing teen dating violence, help is available 24/7 locally by calling the Teen Dating Violence Line at 419-241-7386 or by calling the National Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474. 

You can also text "loveis" to the National Dating Abuse Hotline at 22522.

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