The San Diego County District Attorney Office on Monday announced an effort with the San Diego Chargers and other leaders to end domestic violence among teens.
The campaign features the key message “Now is the Time” to educate teens and the community about dating abuse.
The campaign includes six public service announcements that will air on multiple cable TV networks from February through July, including two spots that aired during the Super Bowl on ESPN Deportes.
In addition, 6,000 posters in English and Spanish are being distributed to schools and other locations, encouraging teens to recognize both signs of healthy relationships and the warning signs of relationship abuse, letting them know where they can go for help if they find themselves in an abusive relationship.
“We know that it will ‘take a village’ to make a difference,” said Jessica Yaffa, the Domestic Violence Council President. “This campaign is not just about educating our youth, it’s about getting the attention of parents, teachers, school boards, officials and community members to start a conversation about what healthy relationships should and can look like.”
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, when it comes to adult victims of intimate partner violence and abuse, 22 percent of women and 15 percent of men first experienced some form of partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17-years old.
In 2015, there were 73 cases involving domestic violence within teen relationships referred to the DA’s Office for prosecution. The referrals represent cases where the victim reported the abuse, but unfortunately that is not always the case.
“Violent relationships can have long-lasting effects on teens,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Adolescent victims of violent relationships are at greater risk for substance abuse, mental health problems and further domestic violence. Now is the time for parents to talk to their teens about healthy relationships and know the signs of teen relationship violence so they can help their teen get out of an unhealthy relationship before it’s too late.”
The campaign was funded by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition and the San Diego Chargers.
Warning signs of teen relationship violence for parents to know include the following:
· Unexplained bruises or marks
· Your child’s partner texts or emails excessively
· Your child is depressed, anxious or using substances
· Your child stops spending time with friends or family
· Your child’s partner is jealous or possessive
· Your child suddenly starts dressing differently
· Sudden decline in school performance
· Your child stops participating in hobbies, sports, or other areas of outside interest
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to call or contact the following resources to get help:
· National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1−800−799−7233 (24/7/365) Confidential, www.thehotline.org
· Love is Respect (peer-led hotline) 1-866-331-9474 (24/7/365), Confidential, LoveIsRespect.org
· San Diego Domestic Violence Council, www.sddvc.org
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