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Valentine’s Day Data Briefing to focus on teen dating violence

1 in 3 U.S. teens is a victim of dating abuse

The Washington County Coalition for Children is putting a local face on National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. On Valentine’s Day, the advocacy group will present the latest facts on the crisis for parents, caseworkers, those in criminal justice, policymakers, clergy, and others who work with teens in the region.

The session will take place on Wednesday, February 14 from 8:30 to 10 am at the Thundermist Health Center in Wakefield.
“We chose Valentine’s Day on purpose,” points out Susan Orban, WCCC coordinator. “There is a sad and tragic irony when someone you care about hits you, sexually assaults you, or emotionally abuses you.”
Mary Roda, executive director of the Domestic Violence Resource Center agrees.
“Teen violence has lifelong consequences. It’s vital that we understand the impact of the problem on our youth and work to prevent it.”

Lucy Rios, RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence, will keynote with latest local statistics

In addition to other assault laws on the books, Rhode Island has the Lindsay Ann Burke Act. Burke, a 23-year-old North Kingstown native, died at the hands of an abusive boyfriend 10 years ago.
The act requires Rhode Island public middle and high schools to teach students to recognize and avoid dating violence. The schools must also establish a dating violence response policy and to train staff and educators.
Lucy Rios, Director of Prevention & Communication for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the morning’s keynote speaker, will outline what’s happened in Washington County since the Burke Act became law.

Followed by expert panel and audience discussion

Rios’ data will be followed by a panel discussion and audience participation to be facilitated by Scott Mueller, Assistant Professor, Rhode Island College, School of Social Work.
Panelists include Mary Roda, Executive Director, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County; Kirsten Maar, Community Outreach Advocate, Galilee Mission & Legal Advocate; Kayla Thibodeaux, Faith Alliance Coordinator Job Corps & Legal Advocate; and Joanne Waite, LMFT, Clinical Manager, Day One.

RSVP to the Coalition; observe parking restrictions
The event is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP to Donna Greene at (401) 788-2371 or dgreene@southcountyhealth.org by Monday, February 10.
Thundermist also asks that attendees NOT park in the health center’s patient or staff lots. Parking is available on the street, at the Wakefield Baptist Church, and the two municipal parking lots on Main Street.

To download Briefing promotional flyer, click here.