Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Kicks Off at Town Hall on Monday

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. On Monday, February 3, 2020, at 12:00pm First Selectman Fred Camillo will read a proclamation declaring February 2020 Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in Greenwich.

YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services, along with students from the Greenwich High School YNet Club will be in attendance.

The event will take place in the Cone Room at Town Hall, and members of the public are invited to attend.

“One in 10 high school students report that they have been purposefully hit, slapped or physically injured by an intimate partner,” said Meredith Gold, Director of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services.  “However, only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse. Perpetrators of intimate partner violence thrive on secrecy.”

To help raise awareness of this issue and promote healthy relationships, YWCA Greenwich is working with youth organizations to address the behaviors and warning signs of abuse.

YWCA Greenwich is the only state-designated provider of domestic abuse services in Greenwich with counselors who are licensed and specially trained to deliver critical services to people experiencing intimate partner violence.

In addition to direct services for victims and survivors, YWCA Greenwich provides Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationship Programs throughout the community and in the Greenwich Public and Independent Schools for all grade levels.

These age-appropriate programs teach students about healthy relationships and prosocial skills such as conflict  negotiation, feelings identification, and active listening, to prevent future incidents of violence and abuse. YWCA Greenwich counselors also address the growing issue of teen dating violence.

More than 3,500 middle school and high school students participated in presentations about healthy relationships and teen dating violence last year.

YNet, a club at Greenwich High School that is sponsored by YWCA Greenwich, works throughout the year to educate their peers about teen dating violence, gender equity, and healthy relationships.

Throughout February, YNet will be hosting events at the high school to raise awareness and encourage teens who are in unhealthy relationships to ask for help.

On Thursday, February 27, at 6:30 pm, YWCA Greenwich and the Greenwich United Way will host an event called “Speak Up, Speak Out: Celebrating Our Stories with Kane Smego.”

This dynamic interactive performance focuses on issues of race, gender, community building, and the stories that we all carry.

Through spoken word poetry, Kane takes listeners on a journey exploring the role that our layered identities, experiences, and stories play in leadership, community engagement, and building relationships across lines of difference.

The event will take place at YWCA Greenwich, 259 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, and it is free and open to the public.

To reserve a seat, go to ywcagrn.org/smego. For questions, contact Joan Mockler at j.mockler@ywcagreenwich.org.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing abuse, there is help. Call the YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse 24/7 Hotline at 203-622-0003.