Group hosts vigil for teen dating violence in New Iberia - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Group hosts vigil for teen dating violence in New Iberia

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In New Iberia, one group is spreading awareness about domestic abuse in teenage relationships.

A vigil was held as part of "National Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Month." 

Several teenagers came up to the podium at the vigil sharing poems or readings about how this form of abuse is a lot more common than most people think.

"What's important about having an event like this is to show awareness on something, like this, that is so low profile," said high school student, Zoe Russo who also said a reading.

The ceremony was hosted by Chez Hope, a nonprofit family violence crisis center.

"This is their first time experiencing dating and they may think these things are okay. These things are not okay. Mutual respect, compromising, those are things that are okay," said the executive director of Chez Hope, Cherrice Picard.

According to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, one in three American teenagers experience some sort of abuse by an intimate partner, whether it is emotional, sexual or physical.

"A lot of times teenagers don't talk to their parents too much. So when they find a boyfriend or girlfriend they look to that person to be their everything. We want them to know that that's not a healthy relationship," said Picard.

The ceremony served as an eye-opener for people of all ages and to help protect adolescents from domestic abuse.

"I've seen a lot of my peers [go through it] and it kind of hurts and I wouldn't say it's none of my business but it's not something I can control. I can just give advice to them," said Russo.

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