The School Action Committee of the North Reading Community Impact Team is pleased to partner with the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. to present “Achieving Healthy Relationships: How to Recognize and Respond to Teen Dating Abuse.” The Monday, March 31st program will be held in the North Reading High School auditorium beginning at 7:00pm and is free of charge. The session will benefit parents, school personnel, caregivers, coaches, mentors, and community members.
REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, a Massachusetts-based victim service agency defines dating abuse as any behavior that one person uses in a relationship to gain and maintain control over their partner, including physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. Recent surveys show that nearly half of 11-14 year olds report themselves as having had a dating relationship. 1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend, according to one national study. Youth between ages 16-24 experience the highest per capita rate of partner violence in the nation.
The presentation will be led by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, a career prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience. District Attorney Ryan will describe signs of tween/teen dating abuse such as jealousy, isolation, rule setting, and monitoring. She will also highlight how adults can spot warning signs, especially at a time when texting and social media makes it difficult to do so. The program will provide tips on how to engage and talk with your tween/teen about dating abuse, including how to teach boys and girls about respect, and where to turn for assistance when needed. A portion of the program will look at the dangerous societal and cultural messages conveyed through mass media, pop culture and advertising -- messages that promote and normalize violence and unhealthy relationships. The program will also include an overview of common tween/teen dating abuse crimes, including sexual assault, stalking and criminal harassment.
The CIT School Action group is focused on educating the entire community of sensitive social issues that face our children. This presentation responds to a survey taken last year in which North Reading parents indicated a strong interest in learning more about teen dating violence.
To register for this program, please visit: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0844A8AE22A7F58-achieving. While not required, registration is encouraged so that enough materials are available for attendees.