The following is a press release from the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) is partnering with the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force to recognize February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). Wilton TDVAM programs will include a parent workshop and a free movie night for teens. A complete list of DVCC’s activities and resources for teens and the adults who support them is available online. 

The theme for TDVAM 2022 is “Talk About It,” a call to action to encourage meaningful conversations about healthy relationships and navigate what may be unhealthy or even abusive. One in three teens in the US will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. In addition, nearly half of college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behaviors. 

“Community education plays a critical role in addressing and preventing teen dating abuse. Unfortunately, young people may not grow up in a home with adults who model healthy relationship behaviors in their own lives. Still, those skills can be learned through preventive education.” said Ann Rodwell Lawton, DVCC’s Associate Director. “Studies show that a young person’s first relationship experience sets the tone for their future relationships. Learning to recognize healthy relationship signs and knowing how to access resources for help better equips teens in building healthy relationships now and for their futures.” 

Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force member Donna Peterson said the partnership with DVCC enables the task force to support teens and their parents in the community by providing education and resources on this important issue. 

“We are grateful for our partnership with DVCC in raising awareness for the prevention of teen dating abuse. DVCC’s prevention educators and counselors provide a vital resource for families in the Wilton community.” 

Wilton TDVAM Programs include: 

  • “Healthy Relationships Are Learned” (Parent workshop) — Thursday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m.: DVCC will join the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force, Wilton Youth Council, Trackside Teen Center, and Wilton Youth Services for a virtual workshop for parents, “Healthy Relationships Are Learned.” Register online.
  • Movie Night at Trackside Teen CenterFriday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m.: Teens are invited for a free screening of the film Sierra Burgess is a Loser at Trackside Teen Center in Wilton. After the movie, DVCC’s Prevention Educator will facilitate a short discussion about the relationships and messages in the film. Co-sponsored by the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force, Wilton Youth Council, and Trackside Teen Center.
  • Book Display at Wilton Library: Novels can be a powerful way to learn about the dynamics around dating abuse. Look for the book display at the Wilton Library featuring novels with teen dating issues as part of the plot.
  • Download DVCC’s Free Parent Resource Guide: Parents are well-positioned to make a difference in their children’s lives. However, in a national online survey of parents with children 11-18 years old, nearly half (45%) had not discussed dating violence with their children in the past year. View and download the guide.
  • February 8 is Wear Orange Day: On Tuesday, Feb. 8, DVCC and the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force are asking the community to recognize this national day to raise awareness of teen dating abuse and send the message that abuse will not be tolerated by wearing orange. Participants are encouraged to take a picture wearing orange and post it on social media with the hashtags #TDVAM2022 #Orange4Love #WearOrangeDay and tag @DVCCCT and @WiltonDomesticViolenceTaskForce. 

More information about the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s TDVAM programs and registration for a workshop is available online. 

About DVCC:  DVCC is here to support individuals on their journey to safety. DVCC advocates for individuals who are experiencing abuse in personal relationships. Our multiple services and professional staff help those experiencing any level of domestic violence and assist them in building a safer environment for the well-being of themselves and their families. All victim services are free and confidential, and all services offered are multicultural/multilingual. In FY 2021, DVCC provided direct services to 3,481 individuals and preventive education programs to 5,650 youth in our community. DVCC’s mission is to provide effective services, support, and education for the prevention and elimination of domestic violence across the Connecticut communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and beyond. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text the 24-hotline at 888.774.2900; for more information about DVCC, visit the DVCC website.