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Female Teen Violence Increases

Counselors Work With Violent Teens To Resolve Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It's not just boys any longer -- violence among girls is increasing, NBC 4's Karin Hirschey reported.

Statistics show one out of four violent episodes are being perpetrated by teen girls.

The Center for Child and Family Advocacy President Yvette McGee Brown said violence among girls is a growing problem.

"Girl violence is even more violent than boy violence," Brown said.

In Columbus, Aaron McCarroll, 14, is recovering from a severe beating at the hands of four female classmates, two of whom were allegedly gang members.

"It was just feet and fists," McCarroll said.

McCarroll's mother, Yvette, remembers the incident well.

"I still dream about it. I still cry about it. It's very scary," Yvette McCarroll said.

Metal plates now hold Aaron McCarroll's jaw together.

"I think when girls enter into violent gangs, they're trying to prove their reputation. They don't want to be seen as soft," Brown said.

Experts said most of the girls involved in violence come from violent homes or have been sexually assaulted, and this is their way of dealing with their pain.

"My fear is we're losing another generation. We don't need to fill up anymore prisons," Brown said.

The Franklin County Juvenile Court has seen an increase in the number of girls coming through the system, Hirschey reported

For the first time ever, females needing help through mediation outnumbered the males. In 2005, 86 girls used mediation, compared to 70 boys.

More serious offenses, like bodily harm, are sent to court, Hirschey reported.

Magistrate William Kirby said a third of his cases involved girls.Punishment is a combination of probation, restitution and counseling.

"If you don't get the underlying reasons for the anger, you'll never resolve the behavior," Brown said. "I did some bad things. I had to go to court. I was charged with arson," said one 17-year-old female who did not want her name used.

She is now taking court-appointed anger management classes through Directions for Youth. "They teach us how to deal with anger, like not having to use strong words or fighting," the teen said.

Counselors work with violent teens to identify triggers that make them angry and then discuss different problem solving techniques and set goals.

"I don't want to have so much anger. I want to be a better person," the teen said.

She said counseling is giving her a second chance to move forward.

"I want to get out of high school, go to college and have a good job -- settle down and have kids. So I think about my future before I act stupid," the teen said.

Karin Hirschey
NBC 4

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