February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
It’s a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that help prevent it.
Why focus on teens?
- Violent behavior often begins between the ages of 12 and 18
- One in ten high school students has been hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Only 33 percent of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about it.
The program: Survivor Stories with Johanna Orozco
It seemed like the perfect romance between Cleveland high school seniors Johanna Orozco and Juan Ruiz Jr. They were the ideal couple and were the envy of their classmates at Lincoln West High School, but after about a year and a half, their happy relationship turned tumultuous, as Juan became irrationally possessive and violent.
Juan was arrested after assaulting Johanna, but, after being released and placed on house arrest, he returned to her home on March 5, 2007, armed with a sawed off shotgun and a mask. Hiding by Johanna’s house, he waited for her to come outside and to get into her car, when he approached the car and fired the shotgun at her face.
Johanna now tours the country, sharing her compelling story with schools, community organizations, parents, law enforcement personnel, and concerned citizens to educate them about dating violence. Johanna focuses on self-respect, confidence and what signs to look for in an unhealthy relationship.