Is Teen Violence the New Normal?

Writing at Parlour Magazine, Nakia D. Hansen says that a recent case brings up concerns about what we're teaching young people about healthy relationships.

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Farmer (left) and Lane (via Parlour Magazine)

Parlour Magazine's Nakia D. Hansen says that a recent case brings up concerns about what we're teaching young people about healthy relationships.

Tony Farmer, a top basketball recruit out of Ohio, was recently sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lane. Footage of Farmer, who pled guilty to robbery, kidnapping, felonious assault, and intimidating a victim, receiving his sentence has gone viral.

Sentiment surrounding the video has gone two ways:  toward taunts of "soft" and "coward" at Farmer for crying and not "taking his bid like a man" or assertions that Farmer got what he deserved and justice was done. As a staunch supporter of victims of violence who possesses an understanding of criminal law, I tend to lean toward the latter sentiment but I must admit that when I first watched the video, I felt a pang of sadness reflecting the assortment of emotions -- confusion, shock, and despair -- that flashed across Farmer's face in a matter of seconds.

Call me soft but I see two victims here. Two young people whose lives and the lives of their families are forever changed. I wasn't at all sad for Farmer's college basketball prospects (reports indicated interest from Ohio State, Michigan State, Xavier, and others) or even the loss of another young black male to jail. Mostly, it was the knowledge that this kind of thing is the new normal in relationships and we're doing little to call it out, name it, and stop it.

Read Nakia D. Hansen's entire piece at Parlour Magazine.

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