Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wonder Woman Wednesday-February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, an no one knows the importance of spreading awareness than Johanna Orozco. 

Johanna’s story was featured on an episode of the hit show I Survived because in the first 13 years of her life she lost both of her parents.  First, her mother became very ill and passed away, then just two weeks later, her father was taken from her in a fatal car accident.

A few years passed, and she met a boy named Juan.  She thought they were happy and easily fell in love with him, but over time, the relationship started to change. 

Orozco said that the abuse began as jealousy then moved to accusations of cheating.  Soon after that, he started using his hands to push and shove her.  Every time, he would apologize and profess his love for her, begging forgiveness.  When she got up the courage to break up with him, things took a turn for the worst and Juan raped Johanna at knife point in her bedroom thinking he would win her back. 

Johanna and Juan
I would love to tell you that this is the end of the trauma for Johanna, but it’s not.  While on house arrest for raping her, he violated his arrest terms and went to her house.  Johanna was unable to react before he shot her in the face with a sawed off shotgun in her grandmother’s car in front of her home.  The gunshot blew off a large portion of her lower jaw.

Johanna is a fighter.  Through several reconstructive surgeries, she has survived.  While Juan is serving his 27-year prison sentence, Johanna continued high school, even attending prom.  She graduated and decided to use her experience to educate people about teen dating violence.  She has even found it in her heart to forgive and pray about Juan.  She is now happily married to a man who loves and supports her mission.

Johanna is not alone.  Teen dating violence is on the rise, and no one is talking about it.  Parents and teens both need to be educated on teen dating violence, how to avoid it, and how to get out of it before something terrible happens.  She has been on Oprah, The View, and I Survived to tell her story.  She travels speaking to groups of high schoolers to educate them on the reality of teen dating violence.

It’s important to have intervention education at the teen level because according to a study by the CDC, 1 in 6 high schoolers will be victims of teen dating violence.  According to the same study, 54% of domestic violence killings involve couples that began relationships as young adults.  What does this mean?  If we can head off abuse at the teen level, we can lower the statistics of domestic violence deaths in adults.

Because of her strength and willingness to share her story for the good of others, Johanna is this week’s Wonder Woman.  Hundreds of teens lives are being shaped by listening to Johanna's story, and she is actively working to change the face of domestic violence in America.  

Thank you for being brave enough to share your story with the world in an effort to make it a better place.

If you or someone you know has a story of survival, email and your story may save somebody’s life.  

No comments:

Post a Comment