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Teens suffering from domestic violence can get help

%22Why+do+they+have+to+fight%3F%22+This+is+the+question+that+many+kids+ask+when+they+experience+domestic+violence.+Children+of+domestic+violence+are+three+times+more+likely+to+repeat+the+cycle+in+adulthood.

"Why do they have to fight?" This is the question that many kids ask when they experience domestic violence. Children of domestic violence are three times more likely to repeat the cycle in adulthood.

Courtesy Google Images

Courtesy Google Images

"Why do they have to fight?" This is the question that many kids ask when they experience domestic violence. Children of domestic violence are three times more likely to repeat the cycle in adulthood.

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According to the Children Domestic Violence Association, if you grow up with domestic violence, you’re 74% more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else. Growing up with domestic violence is the key factor in whether someone will engage in violence later in life. Children of domestic violence are three times more likely to repeat the cycle in adulthood.

“There are two types of affects on a child’s future,” Deborah Lindley, a social worker at South Mountain High School, said. “First is trauma, because it leaves the child always wondering if they will end up like their parents. The second, is repeating what the child’s parents have gone through. The child may grow up and get into a relationship where they think that domestic violence may be a norm and they will follow the pattern and become abusive.”

The CDVA says five million children witness domestic violence each year in the US, while 40 million adult Americans grew up living with domestic violence. Children who’ve experienced domestic violence often meet the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the effects on their brain are similar to those experienced by combat veterans.

A mother of a student at South has been a victim of domestic violence. She explained that domestic violence can be a very rough and scary situation.

“It took me years to realize that I was in a dangerous position,” the woman, who asked that her name not be used, said. “Talking to someone that you really trust is a big help. A counselor, a teacher, a priest, even a close friend. If I were to help anyone that is in a dangerous position like I was, I would tell them that there is hope. Friends and family helped me. ”

So what do you do when you’re in trouble? If a young person is struggling with domestic violence, you can get help.

“There are all sorts of ways people can help. People at the teen’s school that can help,” Rayco Branch, a social worker at South, said.  “There are hotlines that are always open to everyone, if they need someone to talk to. The hotlines do not have an age limit.”

One place you can go for help is QuikTrip.

“You walk in and tell the people that you need help and they will help,” said Lindley. “It is a great place to go. QuikTrip has long partnered with the separate Safe Place initiative, providing assistance to at-risk youth and runaways.”

A “Safe Place” sign is posted at every QuikTrip. It signifies that, if you are in any danger – domestic violence, sexual assault, lost, sex trafficking, fear for your safety – QuikTrip has a secluded and hidden area where you can sit until help arrives. Simply go in and tell any employee you are in need of a safe place. They are trained not to tell anyone you are there until the authorities arrive.

“Never give up,” said Lindley. “And always remember there is hope.”

If you’re struggling with domestic violence, get help. Call the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence at 602.279.2900 or contact them on line at www.acesdv.org.

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