New York, NY —
City officials have announced a Bronx initiative to address teen dating abuse. Borough President Ruben Diaz Junior says the Start Strong Bronx program will be the largest ever that targets 11 to 14 year olds to promote safer and healthy relationships. Diaz says the city receives 1,000 domestic violence calls daily and young teenage couples are not immune.
DIAZ: Ten percent of victims of domestic violence that are hospitalized are people under the age of 20 so we're seeing that this is a huge, huge problem in our young communities.
A 2007 survey of city teens found that 12 percent said they'd been physically assaulted by a boyfriend or girlfriend. The four-year initiative to tackle the problem will be established at five Bronx middle schools.
The program is funded by a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.