President Barack Obama has declared February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County and community partners are proud to present the “WHAT is LOVE” series of events and activities designed to increase awareness of teen dating violence and to educate the community’s youth about healthy relationships.
Teen dating violence is an urgent, silent epidemic in Santa Barbara County. One in three teens report experiencing abuse in a dating relationship, and most teens will never report the abuse to anyone. Dating violence is not just dangerous and sometimes lethal, but teens who experience abuse in a relationship exhibit higher rates of violence, school drop-out rates, drug abuse, high-risk sexual behavior and suicide.
Join Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 9 in honoring the top 25 poster design contest winners in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.
The contest includes big cash prizes, including $250 for the top design. The event will feature food, music, a raffle and the premiere of the WHAT is LOVE public service announcement.
Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County is the county’s only full-service domestic violence agency, committed to ending the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence through prevention and intervention services, and through challenging society’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to effect social change. DVS provides the county’s only 24-hour shelter services for battered women and their children, as well as the county’s only transitional housing programs for domestic violence survivors.
DVS also operates four 24-hour hot lines; accompanies police on domestic violence calls; works to prevent domestic violence through teen outreach and education programs; and provides comprehensive counseling services to men, women and children affected by domestic violence. DVS programs serve Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Santa Maria.
— Christy Haynes is the director of education prevention Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County.