OXFORD- (WWJ)– A group of local students is fighting back against domestic violence in teen dating relationships. The Oxford High School students are trying to raise awareness of the problem, which they say is much more widespread than many people believe. According to figures from the National Council On Crime And Delinquency, one in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse at the hands of a dating partner.
Oxford High School Senior Alexis Waple has joined with classmates Jessica Downs and Breeze Muscarella to develop a domestic violence project for DECA, a group preparing students for careers in marketing, business, finance and other fields.
“We chose domestic abuse because it’s a topic that’s kind of overlooked in school,” said Waple. “It’s not necessarily the violence of the abuse, but the verbal abuse in teen relationships.”
Waple says her group has been using t-shirts, guest speakers, and self-defense classes to make students aware of the problem and to keep them from becoming victims of teen dating violence. One of the warning signs of an abusive relationship, said Waple, is a partner trying to control everything you do and who you speak to.
“Like asking where you can and who you’re with at all times,” said Waple. “Putting a limit on how much time you can spend with your friends and only wanting you to spend time with your boyfriend. Harrassing you with countless phone calls and text messages. And trying to control what you wear.
Waple says they have let students know if they are having problems, they should contact groups like HAVEN, which provides help for victims of domestic violence in Oakland County. To help get the message out, the students have been selling t-shirts with the message “Take A Stand Against Domestic Violence.”