Session deals with abusive teenage relationships
By Leonel Sanchez
Monday, February 21, 2011 at 12:18 p.m.
SANTEE — Vicky Crompton-Tetter became an expert on teen
- dating violence
after her daughter was stabbed to death by an ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her.
That was 25 years ago.
“It is still an issue,” Crompton-Tetter of Iowa
told more than 100 parents and high school students at Sonrise Community Church during a session last week on abusive relationships. She is co-author of “Saving Beauty from the Beast: How to protect your daughter from an unhealthy relationship.”
One in four teens have been involved in an abusive relationship, she said, citing a national study. “Verbal and emotional abuse
is most prevalent,” she said.
Jenny Crompton was 15 when she was stabbed 66 times by her ex-boyfriend, Mark Smith, who is serving a life sentence in prison, she said. Smith broke into their home and waited for her daughter to arrive the day he killed her, she said.
Crompton-Tetter recalled telling her daughter to break up with Smith, but to tell him they could still be friends. “I gave her bad advice,” she said. “The way to break up is to be firm. “
The free event was sponsored by the Grossmont Union High School District
’s Parent Involvement Committee, Southern California Juvenile Officers Association and Foothills Secondary PTA.
An East County
-based public watch group (Citizens Oversight
) objected to the forum being held at a church but district administrators said the event was secular, not religious. The program included a panel discussion with Detective Jason Rouse of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; Kat Wager of Center for Community Solutions; Jenee Littrell, director of guidance and wellness in the Grossmont district; and Cindy Jo Means of the District Attorney
In addition to sharing her story, Crompton-Tetter spoke about the warning signs of an abusive teen relationship. She said technology, mainly texting, has made it easier for abusers to track their victims, she said.
Crompton-Tetter said her daughter’s friends knew more about the abuse than she did. The panel that followed her urged young people who are in abusive relationships or know someone who is to speak to a counselor, administrator or campus police officer.
Victims can seek restraining orders.
Cindy Lott of Lakeside said the information she gathered was helpful. “I’m glad to hear that there are people discussing it and helping our children.”
Her daughter, Paige Lott, who is in the ninth grade, said she learned information that she could share with her friends at school.