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Family Advocacy holds teen dating awareness events

Courtesy graphic

Courtesy graphic

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Think back to when it was time for you or your children to begin dating. What are some things you discussed with your parents or children? Were there ground rules in place regarding acceptable times and locations for a date? Did you have "the talk?"

Most would probably say there were certain rules for dating and they had, comfortably or not, discussed sex in some way. But how many can say they had a candid discussion about violence in a dating relationship, especially when it came to teen dating?

Chances are the topic of dating violence never came up.

"Some of us did not get much advice or much preparation [about dating violence] and I don't know how much that's changed," said Jeanette Barzee, Family Advocacy Program outreach manager. "[Teens] may have gotten advice on all kinds of other things like, 'don't have sex right away,' but did anyone ever think they might be in danger? We might have to have a little bit different conversation."

According to, 81 percent of parents believe teen dating violence is either not an issue or are unsure if it is an issue. In an effort to spread awareness of this potential danger, the Family Advocacy Program has declared February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

"The teen dating violence and abuse rates are much worse than the adult rates of violence," Barzee said. "We all need to wake up and pay attention to it and see what we can do."

In order to help spread awareness, Family Advocacy is holding several events at Schriever Air Force Base in February. The short film "Dating and Violence Should Never be a Couple" will be shown at the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 9 a.m. on Feb. 4. The film features interviews with victims of teen dating violence. A short discussion will follow. The film is open to base personnel and their children 9 and older, and no reservation is required.

"I'm hoping [the film] will open parents' eyes, because they're really our first line of protection for the kids," Barzee said.

An information booth will be at the Schriever clinic 8 a.m. - noon Feb. 18. Outreach staff will man the booth to answer questions and distribute brochures and fact sheets.

Finally, the "Becoming a Love and Logic Parent" series will kick off Feb. 17. The four-part series will be held 1 - 4 p.m. Feb. 17 and 24 and March 2 and 9 at the A&FRC.

Barzee said she hopes attendees will be able to share the things they learn at these events with others in the community.

"I really hope [awareness] spreads way beyond the people who show up for these events," she said. "Getting a few key people informed is great, but they need to spread the word too."

For more information or to RSVP for the Love and Logic series, contact Family Advocacy at 556-8943.
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