The Family Shelter Service (FSS) deals with violence of all types. One of the most recent is quite disturbing even to them, teen dating violence. Although many people pass off some of these incidents as “puppy love,” many of these type relationships certainly are not.
Abusive relationships can last a lifetime as the good people of FSS are completely aware. The Leader reported on Saturday, September 19th that a community member associated with the Shelter told them that one of her high school relationships was violent. She was sexually assaulted. Afterward, she felt as though she was obligated to stay in the relationship. She even married him. After several years, the woman had finally taken enough and sought help.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In Illinois, domestic violence is the number one crime. So that FSS does not have to deal with teens now or somewhere down the road in the future, it is a parent’s responsibility to interact with their child so as to ensure a safer passage to adulthood.
Children from the age of 11 on have to deal with dating violence. In order to help with this very scary issue, the Illinois House Bill 3379 has been instilled. This Bill mandates that school boards adopt a policy to deal with teen dating violence.
Parents need to follow up with all schools within their district, from elementary through high school. Make certain that the schools comply with the Bill which is scheduled to take place straightaway.
FSS gets involved when parents have a tendency to back off from their child just when their child needs their input the most. Whether it is self-preservation, the fact that a parent does not want to admit that they are afraid to help their child, or the fact that some parents simply do not care, but whatever the notion, it is better to prepare a child for dating relationships than to let them crash; an effect that can last them a lifetime – as well as filling up Family Shelter Service with more cases.
It was also been reported in The Leader that many Shelter clients wish they had known about certain things when they were young so that perhaps they had not landed themselves in the throes of a desperate situation later on, landing themselves in desperation. FSS can provide resources to families unsure of how to speak to their teens; their part in helping to decrease the numbers of teens facing dating violence.
This issue is affecting our communities. What are you willing to do to protect your child and to support the great efforts of Family Shelter Service located in Wheaton, Illinois?