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Wilton Teens Participate in Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

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Students at Wilton High School will be hard pressed to ignore information about teen dating violence next week. Members of Wilton 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.

Here are just some of the plans: posters with definitions of interpersonal violence and statistics will be displayed in hallways and classrooms; purple ribbons and a banner will  decorate the school entrance; life-size silhouettes with stories from victims printed on them will stand in the school lobby; goodie bags with information materials and purple M&M’s will be handed out to students; forty student members of Teen PeaceWorks and Peervention will wear purple t-shirts with slogans relating to dating violence; the library will display information and books relevant to the subject; students will sell purple cupcakes and purple Vera Bradley ID cases to raise money for Wilton Teen PeaceWorks.

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 Wilton High School, Weston High School, Darien 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.