Each year, some 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner with a full one in three teens falling prey to physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
It’s statistics like these that help us to understand the severity of the problem in our country and why President Obama, like previous administrations, declared February National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month.
Locally, The Shelter’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), a “teens talking to teens” initiative to help address dating violence, is making strides in changing the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that allow dating violence to exist here, in Collier County.
YAC members, who have gone through a state-certified training program so that they can deal with crisis situations among their peers, are working to not only serve victims of dating violence, but prevent the abuse before it begins.
Coupled with The Shelter’s primary prevention programs, including the tween/teen focused L.E.G.I.T (Love, Education to Guide and Inform Teens)/Healthy Relationships, Expect Respect and Gentle’men Against Domestic Violence initiatives, we’re reaching more and more students each year with the message of healthy relationships.
In fact, from October 1 to December 31, 2012, alone, we were able to directly reach 2,743 teens across Collier County.
In addition to hands-on programs and services, The Shelter also raises awareness among youth around the globe through materials on our website, www.naplesshelter.org, our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as YAC’s Facebook page.
For more information on National Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month, click here. For information on Addressing Teen Dating Violence, please click here.
If you or someone you love is in an abusive relationship, please call 239.775.1101, TTY 239.775.4265 for free, confidential 24-hour support. In emergencies always call 911.
To learn more about The Shelter’s life-transforming programs and services, visit our website: www.naplesshelter.org.