February is named Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month

Events related to the month are planned this week at Bend office

Saving Grace, an organization providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, stresses that relationship violence and sexual assault does not impact adults.

"One in three adolescents in the United States experiences some form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse from a dating partner," stated Erin Rook development outreach coordinator. "Nearly 80 percent of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. And two-thirds of teens who are in an abusive relationship never tell anyone about the abuse."

February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month and Saving Grace is consequently launching the Central Oregon Youth Anti-Violence Council (YAVC). Led by local teens, the regional council will organize awareness and fund-raising events to support Saving Grace's violence prevention program in area schools and empower youth to speak out.

"Students, parents, and educators interested in learning more about the YAVC should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. But it's not just teens that have a part to play," Rook said. "Stopping teen dating violence and sexual assault requires the support of parents, teachers, and community members."

In addition, in an effort to help educate the community on warning signs and how to help, Saving Grace is hosting a presentation on Preventing Teen Dating Violence Wednesday afternoon at its Bend office.

Locally, no events are planned in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, however the health education program at Crook County High School covers topics of that nature as part of the curriculum.

"On the freshman level, it's about relationships," said CCHS Health Educator Vicki Duncan. "This is dating, this is what love really is, that kind of thing. This is a family and this is how you should treat each other."

By the time students reach their senior year, health class delves into such topics as marriage and divorce as well as teen pregnancy.

"They are not lengthy units," Duncan said of the teen dating violence education, "but it explains domestic abuse and all kinds of abuse."

She went on to point out that dating abuse incidents do occur among students at the local high school and teens face varying forms of abuse and neglect.

"If you look around, we have kids that deal with that every day."