Preventing Teen Domestic Violence
by Stacey Pheffer Amato
Feb 16, 2021 | 1608 views | 0 0 comments | 238 238 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PHEFFER AMATO
PHEFFER AMATO
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I want to discuss a very serious but important topic in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. According to the CDC, nearly one in 11 female high school students and one in 15 male high school students reported experiencing physical dating violence in the last year.

Additionally, 26 percent of women and 15 percent of men who are victims of sexual violence first experience this violence by a partner before age 18. These statistics are troubling, and rates of domestic violence have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic while we are all staying home.

These statistics are beyond disturbing. That’s why I will be hosting a panel on Thursday, February 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with representatives from Safe Horizon and Shalom Task Force.

This will be an open and honest conversation for parents, guardians, and anyone who works with young people about how to support the teens in your lives. Attendees will be anonymous, so anyone can log on to the event and ask questions if they need support.

To register for the event, call my office at (718) 945-9550 or email amatos@nyassembly.gov.

Domestic abuse is a particularly difficult issue because the abuser is close to the victim. A domestic abuser may be tough to recognize, because often their behavior is concealed and hidden.

That’s why it is so important that we empower the people in our lives to recognize, speak out, and report this injustice. Young people are at particular risk of abuse, while they are participating in extracurricular or volunteer activities beyond their household.

Abuse does not only take a physical form. Many instances of abuse begin with psychological aspects, which creates a hostile work environment. This forum will explore these questions and more with experts, and provide resources for both teens and guardians.

If you are a parent, talk to the teenagers in your lives about what healthy relationships look like and how they deserve to be treated in personal and professional settings. Communicate with them about warning signs from other adults, and ensure that there is another adult that they can talk to about their concerns.

If you or someone close to you is experiencing any form of abuse, I see you, I hear you, and I believe you. I am here to support you, and you are not alone.

There are resources in your community, including Safe Horizons, which you can contact at 800-621-HOPE (4673), and Shalom Task Force, which you can contact at 718-337-3700.

Please join us on Thursday and learn how you can support the people in your life who need help. Everyone can make a difference, and we can all come together to bring some light to this terrible darkness.

Stacey Pheffer Amato represents District 23 in south Queens in the Assembly.
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