More young Michiganders than ever are facing dating violence.
State Representative Jamie Thompson of Brownstown says 19% of teens experience sexual or physical dating violence, while 65% report being psychologically abused. She says social media and the ability to track someone’s location on their phone are contributing to the rise. She says there are signs of trouble.
“Unhealthy control, jealousy, putting them down, lowering their self worth, not wanting them to be with their friends, wanting the location on their phone.” Thompson said. “There’s so much going on, and I believe that a lot of times, there are parents that aren’t aware.”
This is a issue personal for Thompson. Her 24-year-old daughter, a mother of three, died in 2021 due to a motorcycle crash that was caused by an abusive partner.
The state House has passed a resolution declaring February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Michigan.