Workshops Funded by Verizon Foundation Warn Pennsylvania Teens About Dating Violence

Workshops Funded by Verizon Foundation Warn Pennsylvania Teens About Dating Violence

Sixth- and seventh-graders in the Pocono Mountain school district of Pennsylvania will attend workshops, sponsored by the Weller Health Education Center, aimed at reducing the incidence of dating violence. Weller received a grant from the Verizon Foundation to help identify teens' perceptions of dating violence and provide programming to prevent these violent behaviors.

In a survey conducted by the National Institute of Justice in 2007, about one in 10 adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence by a romantic partner during the previous year, and 20 to 30 percent reported being verbally or psychologically abused. In some areas of the country, these incidences were significantly higher.

In the northeastern Pennsylvania counties of Monroe, Carbon, Pike and Wayne, the Weller Center will conduct focus groups and online surveys to identify how middle-school students perceive dating violence, what influences their perceptions and how technology impactsdating violence behaviors. The data will help the Weller Center develop a dating violence prevention workshop to provide students with vital information before these behaviors occur. In addition, two hour-long workshops will focus on the components of healthy versus unhealthy relationships and offer information about how to break the cycle of violence.

"We know it is critical to give young people the information they require to make healthy life choices," said Patrick Gaston, Verizon Foundation president. "We are proud to assist the Weller Center in its outreach to improve the quality of life for the children and families in northeastern Pennsylvania."

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