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Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month Raises Awareness

By Deborah Gardener

This month couples are getting ready to express their feelings to the ones they love. But at the same time there is a topic that not many people like to address: abuse in teenage dating. It does not matter what day of the week it is, or what time of the year, everyday people in relationships get abused.


The guidance office works with students in confidentiality, but as Guidance Counselor Nancy Odum says, once they feel the student is in danger, that confidentiality promise is broken.


“The first suggestion is for the student to talk to the parents, hopefully they already did,” Odum said. “The second thing we would do is talk to the other individual.”


In most cases it is the girl who is getting abused in the relationship.
“Sometimes ladies do not know how to voice their feelings or how they feel or how to say how they feel,” Odum said.
Odum also feels that with strong self-respect students are less likely to fall into peer pressure and that everybody needs to respect themselves.

“Do not be in a position where you are alone without being able to get help,” Odum said. “Let people know where you are.”

The common perception that girls mature faster than guys, adds on to the view of why dating violence might also occur.

“Girls are perceived as older than they are, so they go for the older guys. And when the ladies are put in the situation, they do not have the confidence or experience to address the issue,” Odum said.


Odum herself has not had to handle a case of a student being physically abused. Although, she has had to deal with a student who was being verbally abused.

“I cannot over-emphasize self-respect. No one has the right to treat you that [harmful] way,” Odum said.


If a student is being abused in any way by anyone they are in a relationship with, if the student really wants help, they can go to guidance and report it to any of the guidance counselors so that they can talk to the other person.

“People will treat you the way you allow them to treat you,” Odum said, “You have to speak up for yourself.”

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