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Darien Teens Participate in Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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Students at Darien High School will be hard pressed to ignore information about teen dating violence next week. Members of Darien Teen PeaceWorks plan to display and distribute a wealth of materials to as many students as possible during the week, in recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month.

 

Highlighting the week will be a talk Monday evening (Feb.22 at 7 p.m.) by a survivor of teen dating violence. Other plans include: posters with information and statistics about teen dating violence and original posters created by Darien Teen PeaceWorks members will be displayed throughout the school; life-size silhouettes with stories from victims printed on them will stand in the school lobby; teen dating violence statistics will be read over morning announcements; goodie bags with information and candy will be handed out to students.

Teen PeaceWorks are student led groups interested in raising awareness within their schools and communities about the issues of interpersonal violence and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. Their activities are facilitated by teens, with guidance from staff members of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s PeaceWorks project. Teen PeaceWorks is currently established at Darien High School, Wilton High School, Weston High School, New Canaan High School and Stamford Academy.

In January, the United States Senate passed a resolution designating February 2010 as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month”. Previously, the designation had covered only the first week in February.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, and approximately 10 percent of high school students have been hurt physically by a boyfriend or girlfriend. In Connecticut, 13 percent of teens surveyed were in a physically violent relationship last year.

PeaceWorks is an educational project of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center that provides programs for pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade youth to help them learn how to solve conflicts peacefully and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. PeaceWorks also offers educational seminars and awareness projects for adults. In fiscal year 2008 - 2009 PeaceWorks staff  provided school and afterschool programs for 26,990 students and provided educational seminars and awareness projects for 3,743 adults throughout the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston. The Domestic Violence Crisis Center offers free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence that include court and legal services, group and individual counseling, temporary shelter, housing services, children’s services, medical advocacy, multilingual services and a 24-hour hotline (1-888-774-2900).