February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

The need to address dating violence among Native teens is critical. Forty percent of suicides by Native Americans are committed by those between the ages of 15 and 24.[10] While the cause of suicide is complex, untreated trauma is a known factor. Addressing the problem is also not easy. The occurrence of violence among Native teens is complicated by many factors – lack of culturally appropriate resources, historical trauma, high rates of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, and the normalization of violence within the culture, to name a few. The “system” is viewed by the Native community as untrustworthy and in many cases, has contributed to the historical trauma endured by Native American families. Courts must commit to building trust with the Native community; building relationships to engage in meaningful dialogue; and creating a welcoming and accessible presence for Native victims to obtain help. Without that commitment there will be no change.

Source: February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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