‘Talk to the Young People in your Lives’ to Prevent Dating Violence: February is Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday proclaimed February as Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and urged citizens to support the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC) promotion of healthy dating relationships.
‘It’s important that you talk to the young people in your lives – it’s important they learn from us about healthy relationships,” Melissa Rodriguez, Director of Development and Community Partnerships for the HCWC told the Court.
Dating abuse is a significant health issue: one in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. Victimization increases teens’ and young adults’ risk for injury, substance abuse, eating disorders, unwanted pregnancy, and suicide. Young people exposed to violence are at greater risk of becoming victims and perpetrators in adult relationships.
Court members thanked the HCWC staff for their work and for continuing programs that help young people understand respectful, non-violent relationships in homes, schools, and communities. In 2017 the HCWC sponsored 258 dating violence prevention and healthy relationship presentations to more than 7,600 teens.
‘I know you don’t always get the recognition you deserve,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell said. “We’re happy to have you in our community.”
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant reminded everyone that the HCWC has a presence in Hays County all day, every day.
Left to right, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center Director of Community Partnerships Melissa Rodriguez, Youth Counselor Shawna Anderson, Executive Director Marla Johnson, and Board Member and SMPD Officer Donald Lee, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant.