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New dating abuse resource available via texting

For dating abuse help in Indianapolis, text 463-201-2792

Travis Robinson | News 8 at 6 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new resource is available for dating and domestic abuse survivors.

The Julian Center can help you or a friend get out of an abusive situation. Just send a text.

The downtown Indianapolis domestic abuse treatment center encourages people in abusive situations and anyone who might know someone in an abusive situation to text 463-201-2792 or go to so, depending on the situation, they can get guidance or help.

“We have a person, advocates on staff who are trained to help someone through that situation,” said Catherine O’Connor, Julian Center president and CEO. “To understand what their options can be and to understand how we might be able to help them through that kind of a situation.”

This is all part of Project Avery, an initiative aimed at ages 13-24 in dating abuse situations. The hope is that the project can lower Indiana’s high number of abuse survivors.

“Indiana has a particular problem here,” O’Connor said. “We unfortunately are second in the nation for the number of high school students who have identified themselves as survivors of dating violence and third in the nation for college-aged students.”

The Julian Center leader said the reason could just be a lack of awareness.

“Sometimes statistics get higher when there’s better reporting,” O’Connor said. “So we’ll hope that maybe with more attention to the issue, more people who are having the problem are willing to come forward.”

By using texts and website submissions, The Julian Center hopes a topic that may seem scary to talk about is a little easier to approach.

“It can be awkward conversation,” O’Connor said. “Maybe not the conversation that you want to have with your parents or a teacher or someone like that and if there’s not that person in your life then this is a way to connect with a trained person whose job it is to be there and help.”

The Julian Center said the service can be used to help anyone, not just teens, in abuse situations, but if there’s an emergency, call 911 because their advocates may not answer right away.