Hidalgo County leaders raising awareness on teen dating violence
Hidalgo County leaders are working to raise awareness on teen dating violence. Officials say it's common and on the rise among teens.
The Hidalgo County District Attorney Toribio "Terry" Palacios? says domestic violence and teen dating violence is a problem that affects the community as a whole.
Palacios says as the population in Hidalgo County grows, so have the cases of domestic violence.
In a 2022 report by the Texas Council of Family Violence, it found there were over 15,000 hotline calls for help in the Rio Grande Valley.
There was an increase of calls from the year before.
Data shows at least one in three teens will suffer from an abusive relationship before they become adults.
Palacios says teen dating violence usually starts at home.
"When a teen has or the teen dating violence, they usually see it at home. They think it's okay. So, we got to teach them early on and let them know, look, we need to teach you to be respectful and kind," Palacios said.
If dating violence happens during the teen years, it usually turns into domestic violence later in life. These types of cases can result in jail time and fines for teens if they are found guilty of a crime.
On Feb. 23, the DA will host the annual Teen Dating Violence Prevention event.
For more information on how to find resources or to attend, click here.