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Butler County Teen Dating Program

Printed From: Main Street Monroe
Category: Voice Forums
Forum Name: The Voice
Forum Description: Monroe, Ohio news, information and opinions
Printed Date: Jun 26 2019 at 1:22pm

Topic: Butler County Teen Dating Program
Posted By: Monroe News
Subject: Butler County Teen Dating Program
Date Posted: Oct 10 2018 at 2:11pm

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Sheriff's program helps Butler County teens with dating violence

by Elaine Kong

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC) - Female high school students in Ohio are more than twice as likely to experience sexual violence than males but a Butler County Sheriff's program for teens and dating violence seems to be working.

Once a year, a representative from the victim assistance program goes into schools and teaches about dating abuse. This year, the program called Break the Cycle includes students like Alyssa Longworth and Kelsey Eck, both seniors at Lakota East High School.

"It happens a lot unfortunately," said Alyssa Longworth

"It's kind of scary that it actually goes on," said Kelsey Eck.

Members of one class read out loud what they believe to be an example of an abusive conversation between a boyfriend and girlfriend through texts, and other social media apps.

They're teaching the students how to watch out for themselves. "If I was in an abusive relationship, get out of it as soon as I see red flags and to make sure I tell somebody that way I’m not too late not do something I’m regretting," said Alyssa.

Learning what to do if they find themselves in those situations. Longworth says she knows how to stick up for herself, and for her friends if she spots red flags. "I tell them to try and get out of the relationship and tell their parents," said Longworth.

"If we don't talk about what abusive behaviors are right now, they don't realize in their future relationships that they're engaging in or being a victim of those abusive types of behaviors," said Sara Spivey.

Spivey is with the Butler County Sheriff's Office. She teaches the week-long class. She says 1 in 4 Ohio teens affected by dating abuse contemplate suicide. It's a number Spivey believes can be lowered through education.

"I can look back on this class and see the warning signs," said Longworth.

"I think this is awesome. I like that we have people come in and talk to us about this stuff opens my eyes and I like hearing people's advice about things," said Eck.

Parents can help by sitting down and having a conversation with their children and having an open dialog even before they get in a relationship.

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