Teen dating violence awareness: What can you do to end abuse at Tahoe? | SierraSun.com

Teen dating violence awareness: What can you do to end abuse at Tahoe?

Special to the Bonanza

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — February is national Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. National statistics show that 1 in 3 teens experience verbal, physical and emotional abuse by a dating partner, and our local statistics support this.

These violent relationships have serious consequences for victims – putting them at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, suicide and adult re-victimization.

Many teens and parents don't realize that abuse refers to more than just physical violence. Emotional and verbal abuse can leave scars that are more difficult to heal, and are often left unseen. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month helps shed light on this epidemic.

In recognition of this important campaign, Tahoe SAFE Alliance's Teen Peace Project, a teen leadership club at Truckee High School, will conduct two awareness events.

The first is school-based, in which club members will silently remove students from class every 24 minutes this week and wear shirts they designed showing that every 24 minutes a teen can experience dating violence. During the day ,they will also hang fliers and posters, and will have a table at lunch to address questions from their peers.

"Now is the time to educate ourselves about the seriousness of teen dating violence and the prevalence of this epidemic in our lives," commented Dawn Harris, Development Manager of Tahoe SAFE Alliance. "Support your family and friends by encouraging them to engage in healthy relationship discussions. Speak out in your community and attend one of our awareness events."

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Tahoe SAFE Alliance and the Teen Peace Project will also reach out to the community at large by providing a free movie showing of "Reviving Ophelia," a groundbreaking movie that poses one of the most provocative questions of a generation: What is happening to the selves of adolescent girls?

The movie is free, and dinner and snacks will be available to everyone that RSVP's to kassi@tahoesafealliance.org. You can get more information about the Teen Peace Project atfacebook.com/TeenPeaceProject.

Further, you can support Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month by joining hundreds of community members from North Lake Tahoe and Truckee on Sunday, Feb. 14, to rise and dance in solidarity for the 1 billion women around the world who will be beaten or raped in their lifetime.

In support of V-Day and One Billion Rising, we will dance to the choreography to "Break the Chain" at exactly 3 p.m. in front of the train station in downtown Truckee. To learn more about the dance or to participate you can get information at facebook.com/onebilliontruckeetahoe.

This article was submitted by Tahoe SAFE Alliance. Visit tahoesafealliance.org or call 775-298-0010 to learn more.