(Victor Valley)–February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. “A Better Way” over the past years has been committed to providing education and outreach to teens in the High Desert around this issue. “We have provided classes, workshops and lectures to several of the local High Schools and recently we have many requests to return,” says Margaret Diaz, “A Better Way” Executive Director. It was teens through out the country with help from the America Bar Association who issued the call for this month long observance to help end dating violence.
“As the statistics of violent behavior in teen relationships rise, this is an issue that we cannot overlook,” says Anita Gomez, “A Better Way” Youth Advocate and Case Manager. One of five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. Young women, ages 16-24, experience the highest rates of relationship violence.
To bring awareness to this issue and educate our youth “A Better Way” is sponsoring a “Creative Messaging Poster Contest.” We want to empower our youth to become advocates. Relationship Violence is a crime, we want to be very clear about that. We know that young people relate to each other, they have influence within their peer groups. We want to get them thinking and talking about this issue. What better way than to engage them in a creative process, stated Anita Gomez.
The poster contest is open to all high school students. The theme is “Teen Dating Violence.” Grand Prize is $300, 2nd place is $200 and 1st place is $100. The winners will be recognized during the March 6th Victorville City Council meeting and all the entries will be on display during March in Victorville’s City Hall. All entries must be received by February 24, 2012.
Registration/Entry forms and contest guidelines are available at “A Better Way” office or online: abetterwaydomesticviolence.org. For more registration/entry information call, (760) 955-8010.