Teen Dating conference held to address teen dating and domestic violence

Officials say 2 out of 3 teens in abusive relationships dont report it


The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and Montgomery County Public Schools hosted the 9th annual Choose Respect Conference to educate teens on domestic violence.


The conference is held get the word out to as many teens and parents as possible.


"Its so that we can overall help mitigate the instances of abuse within the community and to educate what abuse is and what a healthy relationship looks like" said Naomi Pearson, student member of Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.


County officials address teen dating and ways to establish healthy relationships.


"We want to create an environment where yes you can come forward, you don’t need to be embarrassed, or be ashamed there is help available" said Debbie Feinstein, Montgomery County States Attorneys office chief of Special Victims Division.


Dating violence is an issue that touches many lives in Montgomery County - and officials stress that parents talk to their kids about relationship violence and its signs.



"I was in an abusive relationship in my sophomore year in high school and it took me a long time to get out" said Hannah Reid, Choose Respect Conference speaker.


Two out of three teens in abusive relationships don’t tell anyone and officials say they are using education to empower those to speak up.


"It’s much higher than people would expect 1 in 10 teens are victims of physical abuse in a dating relationship" said Feinstein.


About 600 teens throughout the county participated in workshops learning about healthy friendships, dating violence and bystander intervention


"1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been a victim of abuse at the hands of a dating partner" said Thoman Manion, Director of Montgomery County Family Justice Center.


National statistics show teen dating violence is widely under reported - and those numbers reflect here in Montgomery County.



"I would have never expected it to happen to me and it did and I want to let people know its real and you can stop it" said Reid.


There was also a resource fair with community organizations at the conference.


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