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      Sharyland teens learn about social media & abuse

      Social networking sites were developed to keep people in touch.

      But now they are apparently taking on a new role---making it easier for an abuser to control their victim.

      "I think it allows them to have more control by knowing more information about them," said Victoria Hernandez who is a prevention and education coordinator for Mujeres Unidas.

      She said social networking sites and even cell phone with text messaging have changed the way people are abused.

      It intensifies the control factor, said Hernandez.

      Hernandez said, unfortunately, they only have about one or two teens a month that come in and admit they are being abused.

      "It's not as much as we know are out there that need this service," said Hernandez.

      To get the message out that abuse is not love---Hernandez was asked to speak at Sharyland High School on the dangers of teen violence.

      Her speech is part of a speaker series funded by an Education Foundation Grant.

      For sophomore Natasha Cavazos, Hernandez's words hit close to home.

      "I know some friends that have been abused before, said Cavazos. I helped them by telling the counselors that they were being abused."

      This student said her efforts to save her friends from abusive relationships could have ended her friendships---but it was a risk she was willing to take for them.