EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – February marks Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month nationwide and County Commissioners are empowering young people to end dating violence.

Local organizations such as The Sexual and Family Violence and Jennifer Ann Group are partnering up with local schools to provide training for teachers, counselors and school staff about the issue, as well raising the awareness within the community.

County Commissioner Pct. 2 David Stout wants more individuals to recognize teen violence and how to prevent it. “There’s also going to be working with them in some of the schools. So, I think it will be very impactful and hopefully this resolution brings more awareness to them,” said Stout.   

According to the agenda item, 1.5 million cases have been reported in the U.S. on teen dating violence. Adding that 1 in 9 college females have reported it as well as 1 in 36 for males.

“I think that close to 50% of college women in the United States have reported that they have had an issue with abuse, dating abuse, or violence, or controlling relationships. Close to 30% of men in college have also reported that,” said Stout.

Sadly, those who have experienced relationship abuse are individuals as young as 11 to 24 years of age.

During the El Paso County Commissioner’s Court meeting on Monday, Stout said young adults are more likely to use drugs and alcohol and are at higher risk of committing suicide.

“Much more likely to carry patterns of abuse into future relationships, and the experience may disrupt normal development of self-esteem,” said Stout during the meeting.

Community partners from non-profit organizations say they want to give the youth a voice since so many communities have ignored the issue.

Local prevention programs are working on mandating to teach students about the teen dating violence in schools.

According to officials, the online application for Intervention on protective order has seen an increase of 60%, obtaining 403 in the course of 2022.

The County Commisioners Court has passed the motion to bring a healthier lifestyle for young adults in relationships.

If you or anyone who is experiencing violence in any type of relationship, the National Dating Abuse Hotline to call is 1(866) 331-9474 or visit JenniderAnn.org for more information on Teen Dating Violence Awareness.

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