INDIANAPOLIS – The Department of Public Safety tells FOX59 that there is a direct connection between single parent households and violent crime in Indianapolis.
Troy Riggs, director of the Department of Public Safety, said that most of either the 77 homicide victims and suspects in Indianapolis this year come from households led by single mothers.
Monday evening DPS and the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana hosted a “Community Conversation” with teen moms to gain input on stopping the violence.
“I was a young single mother. I was pregnant my freshman year,” said Alaya Thompson.
Thompson, 18, knows she’s living a different life than most teens, but she wouldn’t change her path if she could.
“There are days when I wish I would have thought differently. My daughter has impacted me tremendously,” she said.
Thompson was one of 15 teen mothers who joined the community conversation Monday night at Light of the World Christian Church to talk about raising children, young and alone.
Thompson was one of a handful of teen moms who graduated from high school.
“I had a really good support system, which is why I could do it,” she said.
“What is helping you to be the best mother you can be?” asked Jennifer Pope Baker with the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. She led the conversation with DPS officials. They believe it’s the first step to research why violence in the streets is connected to single parent households.
“I think it’s time we start charting how many didn’t graduate. How many didn’t have a father or one parent missing? What are the characteristics that lead to the violence for the suspects of homicides?” asked Troy Riggs.
“It doesn’t mean you have the right to act foolish or be stupid or pick up a gun. If they can create programs that can help teens, Indianapolis will see a difference in the teen community,” Thompson said.
The teen mothers also said they would also like to have more daycare options.
Women’s Fund of Central Indiana hosted this community conversation to research for their NEXT initiative, which is a project designed to help emerging young women (18-25) to be successful.
Photos below courtesy of Alaya Thomposon: