DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF-WRGT)- February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. 1 in 3 teens report in being in an abusive relationship and it’s happening right here in the Miami Valley. A local 17-year old lost her life due to domestic violence earlier this year.
“You never think it will be one of your people until it actually happens. It breaks my heart. I think about it everyday,” said Jaylon Childs.
Childs only has pictures left to help keep the memory of his 17-year-old baby sister LaShonda Childs alive.
“My life has been turned upside down ever since October 3rd,” Childs added.
In October, just two days before LaShonda’s 18th birthday, police say her ex-boyfriend 28-year-old, Trendell Goodwin, shot and killed her. Childs believes Goodwin’s behavior became suspicious after they broke up.
“He knew better," Childs said. "He knew she was trying to break it off. Why couldn’t he let her break off and go about your day?"
LaShonda even reached out on Facebook for help. Her family later filed for a protection order against Goodwin.
Childs added, “She said stuff like he had put his hands on her and he was abusive. I mean, not abusive, but controlling."
However, Dayton’s YWCA Communication Director, Audrey Starr, says being controlling is a sign of abuse.
“Whether that’s physically abusive, emotionally abusive, emotionally controlling, everything runs the spectrum," Starr said. "So we know it effects 1 and 3 adolescents."
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence reports 1.5 million high school students nationwide expletive abuse from a dating partner. Starr said social media doesn’t help.
“Especially with teens digital abuse is a huge concern,” said Starr. “We see things like people are being controlling through text messages or insisting passwords to social media.”
Childs now wants to spread messages of hope to teens living in dating violence.
“It’s never to late to go and get help. No matter how bad the situation has gotten. You know, you don’t want to end up like my sister did,” Childs said. “If he goes to jail the rest of his life, it doesn’t bring my sister back at all.”
In court, Goodwin pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and 3 counts of felonious assault. His bond is set at $1 million. To learn more information about Dayton YWCA click here.