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Teens raise thousands of dollars and awareness about domestic and dating abuse

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COLUMBUS, Ind. (Feb. 28, 2015) - Teens in Columbus are raising money and awareness about domestic and dating abuse in a fun and interactive way. Saturday night, Columbus East High School held the 16th Annual Dance Marathon to benefit Turning Point Domestic Violence Services. More than 90 teens from several different schools in the area were on the committee to plan and organize the event filled with games to help students get involved.

The event included a DJ, food, prizes, and interactive games like an obstacle course designed to show teens what it's like to leave an abusive relationship.

Domestic violence is a topic that's gained a lot of national attention lately.

"All of the very public domestic violence cases that are taking place, I think it’s making it a topic that is becoming more hot or popular and that’s not a good thing, but it’s raising awareness," said Whitney Loyd, vice president of resource development at Turning Point Violence Services.

It's an opportunity to bring teens into a conversation that's constantly changing.

“Technology is becoming a much bigger part of everybody’s daily life and there’s a lot of abuse that can happen when you’re not even looking at somebody. It can be over the phone or in the internet, so it’s just a lot about changing the social norms," said Lauren Britt, a senior at Columbus North High School.

More than 400 teens were expected to participate in the overnight event. The goal was to raise more than $130,000 for Turning Point Violence Services.

It's just one group that could see funding cuts from domestic violence programs in Indiana.

“In the meantime, this dance is incredibly important to us. This money is obviously unrestricted funding for a prevention program," Loyd said.

For more on Turning Point Domestic Violence Services and where you can go to get help, click here.