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Local girls group talks teen dating violence in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A local girls group talked about abusive teen dating relationships on Thursday.

This discussion taking place on the day Tysiona Crawford’s family laid her to rest. Crawford was killed January 19 in a shooting in South Bend.

Crawford’s family said they believe her death was the result of toxic and abusive relationship. St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office said they cannot confirm this claim, as the case is still under investigation. 

“It’s getting to the point where it’s so serious and they’re getting younger and younger,” said Tina Bynum, founder of Precious Pals Inc. “It’s happening more often or we’re hearing about it more often.”

Bynum has embedded herself in the community, giving girls a voice. She said many girls, under the 18 years old, have told her they’ve been abused by a boyfriend. 

“A lot of girls are not speaking out, because, say a 14-year-old girl is in a relationship and the boy’s hitting her, maybe her mom hasn’t even agreed for her to even have a boyfriend,” Bynum said. “So, how are you going to tell mom that your boyfriend’s hitting you if you’re not even supposed to have one?”

At a vigil on Monday, Tysis Crawford, Tysiona’s father, made young girls in the crowd promise to “never settle for less.” Bynum asked her girls group how does it make them feel that these girls are around their age, and may be in abusive relationships. 

“It makes me feel sad and that we can do better,” said Nevaeh Trent, an 8-year-old Precious Pal member.

Jasmine Young-Grace, 10, another member of Precious Pals Inc. said it makes her feel unsafe. 

“It kind of makes me feel angry that people would actually overreact so much about some little thing that they would actually take someone’s life,” said Emma Goodling, an 11-year-old Precious Pal member.

Bynum said she will be extending the organization’s services from monthly to daily. She said she is looking for volunteers to help her mentor, tutor, and much more.

 

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