For Immediate Release February 8, 2011
Staff Contact: Trish Wood and Kim Heard, Longmont Ending Violence Initiative (LEVI), 303-722-4534
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Longmont Mayor to Proclaim February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
FEBRUARY 8, 2011 - Longmont Mayor Bryan Baum will sign an official proclamation declaring February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Mayor Baum will sign the proclamation at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 at 7:00pm. Members of the Longmont Ending Violence Initiative (LEVI) including Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley Executive Director, Jackie List and members of her staff, Commander Jeff Satur from the Longmont Police Department, Michele Dusenbery, Executive Director for Defense Awareness Response Training (DART) and Kim Heard, LEVI Project Coordinator will witness the signing. Youth from the Teens Ending Relationship Abuse (TERA) group will also be in attendance to kick off a month of activities planned around the topic of teen dating violence.
National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month reflects our Nation’s growing understanding that violence within relationships often begins during adolescence. Annually, approximately one in four teens report being the victim of verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual violence. Abusive relationships can impact adolescent development, and teens who experience dating violence may suffer long-term negative behavioral and health consequences. Adolescents in controlling or violent relationships may carry these dangerous and unhealthy patterns into future relationships. The time to break the cycle of teen dating violence is now, before another generation falls victim to this tragedy.
The proclamation calls for city-wide support of efforts in our community, schools, and homes, to empower young people to develop healthy relationships throughout their lives and to engage in activities that prevent and respond to teen dating violence.
“The Longmont Police Department and LEVI are delighted to partner with Mayor Baum in our unified message to the community that young or old, Longmont will not accept abuse in our midst. This proclamation emphasizes the importance of a community-wide, collaborative response to domestic violence. Teen dating violence is not a private matter, it affects us all” said Commander Jeff Satur in response to the proclamation.
In addition to the proclamation, LEVI members have circulated hundreds of posters, flyers and bookmarks to local middle and high schools, recreation centers, and other locations in the community. The poster distribution is part of a nationwide campaign to stress the importance of drawing the line between “affection and obsession,” “talking and stalking,” and “caring and controlling”. Lollipops with similar messages will be distributed at high schools as part of a Valentine’s Day effort to promote healthy relationships. TERA members will also be arming their peers with information during presentations on teen dating violence at several local high schools. The overall message of the campaign is to encourage those who need help, or suspect a friend may be in an abusive situation, to call the 24/7 crisis hotline.
For more information on teen dating violence, contact TERA at Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley (303) 772-4422, www.safeshelterTERA.org or www.teendvmonth.org.
About Longmont Ending Violence Initiative
LEVI (Longmont Ending Violence Initiative) is an awareness project designed to enlist the entire community in an effort to reduce and control domestic violence. It is our intent to teach members of the community how to become part of the solution to end domestic violence by getting resources to the relationship before the violence escalates. LEVI is an innovative multiple-agency collaborative response accomplished through a public information plan, widespread education and easy access to services. For more information, please visit: http://www.LongmontDomesticViolence.org/.