As part of its monthly series promoting public awareness of domestic violence, the Laurel Police Department held a public forum on teen dating violence Feb. 5.
Ronda Lennon of the abusive relationship recovery support group SWAN (Someone Worth Accepting Now) led the discussion at the LPD’s Friendship Hall, citing national statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that indicate approximately one in three teen girls are victims of relationship abuse, yet the majority do not report it.
Lennon, who also works as a guidance counselor in the Howard County school system, said the rise of social media and picture sharing sites online has drastically increased the degree and intensity of relationship abuse.
LPD Major Bob Althoff said the program, which takes place the second Tuesday of each month, is part of the department’s efforts to bring together resources and information for victims of domestic violence and community members.
In 2012, the LPD investigated 80 reports of domestic violence, and have so far investigated 10 more since the start of 2013, according to department statistics.