CASDA Fights Teen Dating Violence at Superior High School

By KBJR News 1

February 15, 2013 Updated Feb 15, 2013 at 7:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

Valentines Day is the day we celebrate the ones we love. But for many young and inexperienced daters, the one they love may be subjecting them to physical, mental or emotional abuse.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, CASDA, the center against sexual and domestic abuse, has traveled to Superior High School in an effort to educate local teens on healthy relationships.

February is teen dating awareness month. In recognition CASDA is working actively with the students at Superior High School.

A survey that included SHS revealed that 18% percent of the respondents had been victims of abuse. That number is double the national average.

Superior High students disclosed details of traumatic events they experienced with family, friends and even in their personal lives.

"She went out with some of her friends and didn't tell him, he got mad they got in a fight, he started hitting her," says Josh Valoomis, student at SHS.

"I have a friend that got pulled off a radiator. Her boyfriend pushed her into it and pulled her off of it and she almost broke her knee and busted her rib," says Amanda Brown.

"I've been in a situation before and it's not a good relationship and I had to get away from that," says Justice Williams another student at SHS.

Many students say they've experienced stress and guilt from not knowing how to help their loved ones.

"I just felt like I should have been there to stick up for her," adds Valoomis.

While most teens are optimistic about their relationships....

"I don't think I have to worry about anything I think me and my boyfriend will be together for a long time," says Brandy Smith.

The inexperienced dater is often unable to recognize warning signs...

Students were given a "Is your Relationship Healthy?" test access their partners and themselves. Some were surprised at the results.

"Apparently answering yes to her being angry one minute and having mood swings is bad," says Michael Hamlon.

Many students took pledges to maintain a healthy dating lifestyle.

Alexa Conolly, Children's Coordinator of Casda says the students will "Make a declaration about a healthy relationship, what they think is important and then right it on their sleeve for everyone to know what they think is really important."

It's called the "Wear your heart on your sleeve campaign." Students flocked to CASDA's booth to sign up.

"You need to have some more support through it and that's what CASDA's going to give, is more support, and more ability to go out in life and have help," adds Amanda Brown.

You can recognize an abusive relationship by some tell signs such as, emotional changes, isolation from friends and family and excessive communication with their partner.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com

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