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(UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – February 1, 2018) In recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County is collaborating with various agencies to educate teens on the importance of healthy relationships.
“Statistics show that before the age of 18, approximately 7 percent of women and 4 percent of men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner,” states the Honorable Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Administrative Judge of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. “By initiating and sustaining a healthy dialogue on teen dating, our youth will learn how to identify toxic behavior in a relationship and seek guidance when necessary. Moreover, these platforms will highlight the positive practices of dating.”
On Thursday, February 8, 2018, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in partnership with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNPPC), the Prince George’s County Department of Family Services and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, will host No Excuse for Dating Abuse: Breaking the Silence of Mouths Wide Shut. The event will be held at the Newton White Mansion, 2708 Enterprise Rd., Mitchellville, Md. from 6:30 - 9 p.m.
“Our goal for this event is to bring awareness to teen dating violence - an issue that affects the development of many of our youth in Prince George’s County,” states Cherie Jones, Deputy Director of the Family Division, Juvenile Unit, at the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. “As we keep our youth engaged and entertained with a fashion show, art and spoken word contests, a live band and a DJ, we will educate them about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and what to do if they find themselves, or someone else, in crisis.”
Additionally, the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center, an initiative of the Circuit Court, is launching Teen Empowerment Program (TEP), a series of teen workshops and group discussions that will tackle dating misconceptions and provide a healthy discourse about teen dating violence. The innovative collaboration between the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center and An Earthly Embrace, a charitable organization who supports men, women and children impacted by domestic violence, will educate and support teens ages 13-19 who have experienced or been exposed to violence in their homes, in a relationship or have been victims of human trafficking.
“Sadly, teen dating violence has become a growing problem in communities across the United States,” says Denise C. McCain, Director of the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center. “With TEP, teenagers will become better aware of the subtle and overt signs of dating violence with the goal of identifying them and leaving a relationship that is harmful.” ##