Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention is a big part of The Wellspring's work! Check out the info at right and then if you need help or just to talk to someone, call (318) 323-1505 or 1-800-716-7233 anytime. We're there 24/7 and ready to help!
Activities scheduled by The Wellspring and Family Justice Center of Ouachita during February to raise awareness of teen dating violence include:
• Free presentations upon request anywhere in Northeast Louisiana on dating violence and sexual assault awareness to students,
• Free trainings upon request anywhere in Northeast Louisiana for groups, churches, and teachers on how to recognize and respond to teen dating violence,
• Radio ads will air about teen dating violence awareness, and
• The SAFE Dates curriculum is offered to teens as part of health education classes in several area high schools.
· To request print copies of materials or request speakers contact (318) 998-6030 or (318) 651-9314.
· To get help with teen dating violence call 318-323-1505 or 1-888-411-1333
THE FACTS - HOW OFTEN IT HAPPENS
Each year, approximately one in four teens reports being the victim of dating violence which can include physical abuse, stalking, emotional abuse, or sexual violence, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and people ages 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking. One in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused, not by a stranger, but by a dating partner. Teen dating violence is often unnoticed by parents and even unrecognized as abnormal by those teens experiencing it. No local statistics are collected singling out teens who are victims of dating violence; however school employees typically comment to Wellspring staff that they fear it’s a common occurrence among their students. “I see couples walking down the halls with the boys holding the girls by the back of the neck,” one said in 2010.
THE YELLLOW DRESS PLAY PERFORMED IN OUACHITA PARISH
The Wellspring and Family Justice Center serve teens who are victims of dating violence and conducts prevention efforts to stem the tide of teen dating violence in Northeast Louisiana. As part of that effort, during February which is observed nationally as Teen Dating Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, The Wellspring and Family Justice Center of Ouachita are presenting several performances of The Yellow Dress, a one-woman play about dating violence that tells the story of a senior in high school who is in an abusive relationship. At the end of the play students take part in a debrief to talk about the play and dating violence led by the professional performing the play, Denise Dean of Deana’s Educational Theater, supported by Wellspring staff who are professional domestic violence advocates and counselors. The play will be presented for student groups and classes at several high schools in Ouachita Parish thanks to a grant from Verizon. Says Valerie Bowman, MS, RSW, Director of The Wellspring Domestic Violence Program and Family Justice Center – Ouachita, “We are proud that Verizon Foundation is the title sponsor for The Yellow Dress performances. Through this partnership we are able to share this important message with our teenagers. Verizon has supported domestic violence shelters and organizations for over 10 years, working with groups and organizations that help survivors of domestic violence. Verizon has a longstanding commitment of preventing domestic violence and raising awareness of the issue through the HopeLine program.”