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Plans to meet for lunch or go out to a movie are abruptly cancelled without explanation. Previously healthy people suddenly suffer from stomach aches or headaches that prevent them from seeing others.After her niece’s death in 2016 as a consequence of dating violence, Cheryl Steele wondered why she didn’t notice the patterns of abuse more clearly.Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States.A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.Cheryl Steele, left, and John Deluca, bassist of the Heartstone Crossing Band, go over details for the upcoming Wine with Purpose fundraiser. 24, will feature music by Heartstone Crossing Band as well as food trucks and a silent auction.The benefit will raise money for Beacon of Hope Crisis Center and Sheltering Wings, a women's shelter.
“When I look back now, after all of the research I’ve done, I think, ‘If I had only known.’”In the aftermath of her own family’s loss, Steele dedicated herself to educating other young people and parents about the dangers of dating violence.Cheryl Steele, left, and Sandra Ziebold, right, teach an education class for young adults on dating violence at Beacon of Hope Crisis Center on the southside of Indianapolis.Dating violence is prevalent in young adults, and Beacon of Hope has focused on it through the Purple Sneakers education program, which Steele started.The Greenwood native formed Purple Sneakers to help others recognize the hallmarks of abuse in young relationships, and how to equip people with the tools to escape dangerous situations that may be unfolding in secret.Purple Sneakers has become one of the programs offered by Beacon of Hope Crisis Center, a southside Indianapolis organization providing safety, support and education to women suffering from domestic and sexual abuse.
The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.