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Jodi Rave: Series on violence against Native women


" For 22 years, Neoma Abbott has spoken with students on the Fort Belknap Reservation about some of the most intimate details of their lives. "The family planning counselor for the Assiniboine Sioux and Gros Ventre tribes talks to students about contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol, smoking and pregnancy.

When she's not talking with students, she helps victims of domestic abuse. And over the years, she's seen a disturbing trend: Partner violence is seeping into teen relationships, sometimes as early as eighth grade.

�I don't know if the other ones settled down or separated or got divorces, but it's happening with the younger group,� said Abbott, who sees jealous and possessive students walk school hallways with hickeys and black eyes.

Last fall, the 71-year-old decided to start talking with kids about domestic violence and what it means to be in a healthy relationship.

She started with the fifth- and sixth-graders. �A lot of them are in denial. Some will sit and listen. Others will say, �My dad don't hit my mom.' �

But those working to end domestic violence in families agree the young need to be part of the conversation."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Counselors work to break cycle of violence among young (The Missoulian 9/21)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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