Teen Violence addressed
By Kyra McGarr
The Senior AVID, Senior Issues and Freshman Focus classes recently had presentations on violent teen relationships, given by Suzie Shelton and Kasey Coonrod, who work at Sierra SAFE program, located at 513 Main Street in downtown Loyalton.
The main point of the presentations was to inform students about teen dating violence, how to recognize a violent or manipulative relationship and how to get out of a violent relationship.
The presentations were timely, as February was Teen Dating Awareness and Prevention Month. Congress made this official last year.
Shelton said violence in teen relationships is on the rise; one in four teen relationships is violent. She said that most teens don’t really know how to be in a relationship. In fact, it may be hard to tell if you’re in a violent relationship, because violent relationships aren’t always physical. Abuse can be mental, too.
Signs of a violent relationship can consist of the following if one’s boyfriend or girlfriend:
• Tells you where you can and can’t go
• Monitors who you can and can’t talk to
• Checks your text messages and emails those other parties without your permission
• Always is checking up on you
• Demands to know where you are at all times
• Makes you feel bad about yourself
• Puts you down in front of his or her friends
• Threatens to hurt you or himself or herself
• Tries to isolate you from your family and/or friends
• Yells and screams at you for no reason
Additionally, other signs are if the boyfriend or girlfriend does one or more of the following:
• Pushes you
• Bites you
• Kicks you
• Slaps you
• Punches you
• Scratches you
• Physically forces you to do anything you don’t want to do
If you or someone you know is in violent relationship, help should be sought. Shelton said that in a violent situation the best thing a person can do is to break up with the boyfriend or girlfriend.
Additionally, there are people you can talk to–the school counselor, a family member, a close friend or a teacher.
Students can even contact Suzie Shelton or Kasey Coonrod at the Sierra SAFE program at the office on Main Street in Loyalton or at 993-1237.
Students who need more information or resources, can go to http://www.teenDVmonth.com.