February has officially been declared Teen Dating Violence Awareness month according to the City Council board members’ approval at the February 7th City Council meeting. According to a report read aloud at the meeting by Mayor Jose Flores “Each year an estimated 1 in 3 teens is physically, emotionally, or verbally abused by a dating partner.”
It was then stated that survivors of teen dating violence have an increased risk of truancy, dropout rate, teen pregnancy, suicide, eating disorders, and other harmful side effects.
According to Flores’ statement, by selecting February to push awareness on the subject of Teen Dating Violence, this allows the community the opportunity to “acknowledge and show support for survivors and advocates [in order to] to end the cycle of abuse”.
Flores stated that the public must recognize the effort of “Know More” professionals, educators, and students to prevent and end teen dating violence across middle schools and high schools. This includes Clovis West High School who this year represented the Clovis Unified School District at the City Council meeting.
Students Kai Young and Riley Strunk both spoke in front of board members. As student ambassadors for Clovis West High School, they were at the forefront of this battle against Teen Dating Violence.
“Know More is a peer led model developed by the Marjorie Mason Center that educates high school students on the red flags of dating violence as well as components of healthy dating relationships,” expressed Student Ambassador Kai Young. According to Young, as many as 520 student ambassadors across Clovis Unified are working to end teen dating violence.
Student Riley Strunk stated that this year, over 800 orange t-shirts were distributed to students and staff to help promote and bring awareness to teen dating violence. She went on to reveal that Clovis West alone would be participating in a week-long event with different dress up days, yoga sessions, and a scavenger hunt in order to help “promote and bring awareness to TDAM”.
Orange t-shirts were passed along to the board after the presentation.
Wear Orange Day, occurring on February 8th helps to raise awareness on teen dating violence and to help in the support of survivors. One can participate in Wear Orange Day by wearing the color orange in public.