The Gordon County Teen Health Task Force, Community Education Campaign will meet Tuesday, April 24, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Calhoun Library Community Room, and will address the issue of dating violence among teens.
“Young women age 16-24 experience highest rates of relationship violence. These are the 16, 17 and 18 year olds where violence is going on,” according to Beth Peters, outreach coordinator of the Gordon County Domestic Violence Outreach Office. “Fourteen percent of teens have been threatened with physical harm, and we are seeing more and more teens coming forward about violent relationships.”
Peters encourages teens that know other teens involved in an abusive relationship to attend the meeting to find the resources to help those friends in need.
Parents are also encouraged to attend for information on warning signs or indicators their teen may be involved in a violent relationship, which may involve major changes in character or personality.
“Every teen is different: sudden changes in behavior, difference in what teen is wearing, difference in friends, isolated from friends, only with boyfriend or girlfriend,” said Peters. “I think that is a lot of what you see is just people acting differently.”
The main goal, according to Peters, is to educate teens and parents on healthy relationships and how teens can help friends who are believed to be in an abusive relationship.
“We hope to advocate for healthy relationships which have trust and respect, equality, fairness and honesty,” said Peters, “and we hope to help provide resources for those not in a healthy relationship or know someone who needs help.”
This is the second seminar in a series of monthly sessions targeting teen safety and prevention with topics ranging from bullying to dating violence.
Parents and teens are invited out to attend the seminar for educational purposes and to ask questions. The overall goal of the Teen Health Task Force is to encourage parents to be “askable” parents and promote confidence in teens.