Seaman sophomore: Domestic violence isn't just an adult issue

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kaylee Workman, a sophomore at Seaman High School, learned about Jana's Campaign through her involvement with FCCLA. The group was created after the death of Jana Mackey in 2008.

"It can happen to anyone,” Workman said.

Workman said domestic violence doesn’t just happen to adults and kids her age are just as susceptible to the issue.

"They haven’t had much experience in dating,” Workman said. “Once they get older, it could prevent them from being in a dangerous relationship.”

Associate Director of Jana’s Campaign Kaiti Dinges said domestic violence among teens has increased in recent years.

"Nationally, one in ten 11 to 17-year-olds will experience physical violence each year,” Dinges said. “When it comes to verbal, emotional, sexual or stalking violence, it's one in four.”

A few students said it’s good for them to learn the signs now, so they can grow up knowing what to look for.

"I think everybody needs to hear about it, because it is something that does happen,” Loren Baldwin, a junior, said. “Some people choose to ignore the fact that it happens and it is very important to know the signs.”

"I think it’s important to tell them while they're young,” Alexis Woodworth, a junior, said. “They have more time to process it, they have more time to change themselves."

Dinges said continuing the conversation will help bring an end to relationship violence.

"We believe, if we talk about these issues, we break that stigma,” Dinges said. “Then we can create change and put an end to domestic violence and relationship violence."

Dinges said resources and advocates are available everywhere for anyone in this situation. In Topeka, it is the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment.