The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Teresa Clyne

Time to understand what it really means


To the Editor:

While some may recognize that Feb. 9 is a day for wearing orange to show your awareness of teen dating violence as a real issue and to support teens in our community, not everyone may understand what the issues are.

Last year The Sentinel ran an article entitled, “Teen Dating Violence—the Quiet Crime.” While it is true that particular crime is quiet for the most part, it can also become loud enough and visible enough that law enforcement has to get involved, and it goes to court. Then it is made public, and it is no longer swept under the rug, no longer quiet. Teen dating violence is as serious as domestic violence and sexual assault, and it certainly has all the components of both of those crimes: physical violence; and mental, emotional, and economic abuse.

The Washington Coalition for Sexual Assault Prevention (WCSAP) says, “According to the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Project, the repercussions of teen dating violence are impossible to ignore—the issue affects not just youth but their families, schools, and communities as well. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) brings national focus to the issue of teen dating violence, highlights the need to educate our youth about healthy relationships, raises awareness among those who care for them, and provides communities with a critical opportunity to work together to prevent this devastating cycle of abuse.”

The web site has great tools to help teens and those who love them. The teenage years don’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to go it alone. Family, good friends, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, and community resources, to name a few, help through difficult times. A good community resource for teens experiencing dating violence is Programs for Peaceful Living. The locations are: 116 W Main in Goldendale, 773-6100; and 115 W Steuben in Bingen, (509) 493-1533. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The toll-free crisis number is available 24/7 at (844) 493-1709.


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