Stay Informed

Stay Informed

Creating a community free of domestic violence requires continual information sharing and dialogue. Stay connected with us through the information resources on this page and – please – share what you learn.

Teen Dating Violence In Our Community

Along with so many others in our community, the Marjaree Mason Center team was heartbroken to learn about the recent murder of 19-year-old Melanie Rios Camacho. This marks the third domestic violence homicide of a teenager* in our area in the last 14 months.

Today, we urge those in our community to have conversations with the young people in their lives to encourage healthy relationships and the fact that violence simply doesn't belong in a relationship. Talk to your teens about what healthy relationships are, how to set boundaries, and what to do if they ever feel un-safe. Start an open conversation now.

There’s a lot of pressure on teenagers to date or have a boyfriend/girlfriend when we should be normalizing that it’s okay to just want to hang out with your friends or be single. If anyone makes you feel like that’s not okay, there’s a problem. Love shouldn’t make you feel insecure, scared, hurt, or anxious.

Remember, no one is "too young" to experience teen dating violence.

As the holiday season approaches, complexities of relationships can often amplify. The holidays can be a lonely season where some are reminded of lost love or broken relationships. For ex-partners nursing the wounds of rejection, the holidays can be a dangerous season.

Winter formal is also fast approaching. With more celebration and less supervision, teen dating violence is an even greater concern. Teenagers should know that abuse is never okay and that there are resources available to them. Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders may be granted to anyone 12 years of age or older. Safety planning is also critical and the organizations like the Marjaree Mason Center can help you create a safety plan should you ever need to use it.

Never meet with someone you think could potentially cause you harm in a private setting. If you are afraid that someone has the potential to hurt you, but you still feel as though you need to see them for whatever reason, protect yourself by meeting in a public place such as in front of a police station.

Teenagers also need to know that they have the power and ability to call 9-1-1 if they ever feel like there is a threat of danger. As parents, we talk to our young kids about calling 9-1-1 if there’s a fire or a burglar in our home, but we don’t talk to our teens about what to do if they fear someone they love will hurt them or if someone has threatened to hurt them.

Here are a few resources parents can utilize to have conversations with their teens:

If you need help, guidance, or additional resources, please call the Marjaree Mason Center 24/7 confidential hotline at (559) 233-HELP (4357).

*Although suspects have been arrested and charged, trials are not yet completed for the three domestic violence homicides of teenagers over the last 14 months.

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