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Marjaree Mason Center Shines Bright Orange Light on Teen Dating Violence

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The Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno has planned activities throughout February to increase awareness about teen dating violence. (Shutterstock)
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Every year, 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse at the hands of a dating partner, including three Fresno County teenagers who lost their lives to this violence in the last 18 months.

Learn more about preventing teen dating violence at this link.

To help spread awareness of this issue, the Marjaree Mason Center has planned activities throughout February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

These events include Wear Orange Day, Valentine’s Day, basketball games at local high schools, and proclamations by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and other local city councils.

For Tuesday’s “Wear Orange Day,” the center has distributed nearly 3,000 Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month orange shirts to students, administration, community partners, and personal staff.

Talk to Your Teens About Healthy Relationships

In addition, the center plans to conduct parent presentations and training sessions with community partners. Parent guides and resources to aid in at-home discussions about healthy relationships will be available as well. The center developed a calendar, challenging participants to check off a positive task each day in honor of this month.

The extends prevention and education efforts past February through the kNOw MORE® Program, a collaboration involving Fresno County high schools and middle schools that initially began in 2009.

This program was crafted to educate local youth about the long-lasting effects of abuse in teen relationships and provide a space to discuss the topic of unhealthy relationships. It is tailored to each school site and grade level with discussion guides to equip teens, advisors, teachers, and parents with domestic violence education, awareness, and prevention strategies.

The program operates at 37 school sites across six local school districts.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month is an opportunity for the community to talk to their teens about what healthy relationships are, how to set boundaries, and what to do if they feel unsafe. This month reminds us no one is “too young” to experience domestic violence and that love should not make you feel scared, hurt, or anxious.

How Big Is the Problem of Teen Dating Violence?

(CDC)

Where to Get Help

You can learn about all the services Marjaree Mason offers at this link.

Victims of domestic violence seeking safe housing or services can call the Marjaree Mason 24-hour crisis hotline at (559) 233-HELP (4357). All hotline services are confidential.

Anya Ellis began working for GV Wire in July 2023. The daughter of journalists, Anya is a Fresno native and Buchanan High School graduate. She is currently at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in film and media studies and minoring in creative writing. She plans to pursue her masters in screenwriting after graduating. You can contact Anya at anya.ellis@gvwire.com.

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