Donner: Family Service of Roanoke Valley Draws Attention to Teen Dating Violence Prevention | Local News

Family Service of Roanoke Valley brings attention to National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in February to help educate people about how common teen dating violence is, the signs harbingers of it and how to help those involved.

According to a Family Service press release, the latest data from the Center for Disease Control shows that nearly 1 in 11 high school girls and about 1 in 14 high school boys reported experiencing physical dating violence in the past year. .

Teen dating violence, however, is not just limited to physical abuse. Other forms of violence include harassment and emotional abuse. Some indications of potential abuse in dating include isolation from family and friends, constant put-downs, and extreme jealousy or insecurity.

Teen dating violence is preventable, the press release said. Education about healthy relationships and communication, along with a supportive and protective environment, has been shown to reduce and prevent dating violence.

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Family Service offers its Teen Outreach Program, a youth development program, to address self-esteem, effective communication, goal setting, and maintaining healthy relationships. It uses discussion, leadership, and community service-learning activities.

Youth Development Program Coordinator Megan Alpine runs TOP and describes the program as “a safe space [for teenagers] to learn more about the different types of relationships and what the “red flags” of potential abuse in friendships and romantic partnerships might look like.

Alpine says TOP gives young adults the skills and resources to deal with issues like abusive romantic relationships and reinforces the importance of consent, boundaries and respecting personal values ​​in healthy relationships.

For more information on TOP or any other youth programs Family Service has to offer, visit

Family Service is a 121-year-old nonprofit mental health organization.

Terry Steer Memorial Lecture SeriesChrist Episcopal Roanoke, 1101 Franklin Road SW, will hold its fourth annual Terry Steer Memorial Lecture Series at 3 p.m. Feb. 27.

“Coming Together: Why Interfaith Gatherings/Relations Matter and Meaningful in a Time of Great Division and Misinformation” is the theme of the panel discussion which features Reverend Kevin McNeil, pastor of Bethany Christian Church; Rabbi Kathy Cohen of Temple Emanuel; and Dr. Saleem Ahmed, a retired physician.

Steer, who died in 2017, was a dedicated member of Christ Church, who encouraged ecumenical and social justice activities at the parish.

Drug-Free Communities Grant AwardThe Roanoke Prevention Alliance has received the next and final five years of its Drug Free Communities grant.

In 2016, RPA received the first five years of the grant and, based on needs assessments, focused on reducing alcohol and marijuana use among youth in Roanoke.

RPA has developed public service announcements and youth drug prevention campaigns, using different media and strategies aimed primarily at parents and adults. To demonstrate the reach of the campaigns, 24% of Roanoke residents said they had seen or heard the Campaign on alcohol in 2021, an increase from 16% in 2019. In 2021, 44% of adults said they believe young people are less likely to use marijuana if their parents do not approve of it, compared to 39 % in 2018 The Prevention Alliance used the funding to work with other organizations and community members to help build resilience for youth, families and communities in the city.

A demonstration of the success of annual community messaging and education on building resilience is that 39% of city residents in 2021 said they had seen or heard of how to build resilience in a child or help him recover from a trauma or a bad situation. experiences.

RPA helps facilitate the implementation of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey which tracks risk factors and protective factors for young people.

The Roanoke Prevention Alliance formed as a coalition in 1997 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2015. It is the grassroots organization of the Resiliency Collective.

Contact JoAnne Poindexter at [email protected]

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