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February raises awareness for teen dating violence

February is teen dating violence awareness month.

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Awareness of teen violence will be highlighted in the month of February to bring light to the growing number of teenagers who have been subject to an abusive relationship.

“Violence among teens is a growing issue,” said Maj. Paul Milazzo, 27th Special Operations Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy Officer. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, and one in ten high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.”

To help teens learn more about healthy relationships, representatives from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico are heading to Portales High School where students will participate in a guided art activity to raise awareness about teen dating violence, Milazzo said. Discussion and prevention information will be provided.

Violence and controlling behavior in relationships can have serious consequences by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
“The first step to getting help is telling someone,” Milazzo said. “Statistics indicate only 33 percent of teens in a violent relationship ever told anyone.”

On base, there are many avenues for to get assistance. The Military Family Life Counselors, Preservation of the Force and Family, Chaplains, Airman and Family Readiness Center and Family Advocacy Center all offer services to support healthy relationships.

For more information, to seek help, or support, contact the Cannon AFB Family Advocacy program at (575)784-2474. If you are a victim of intimate partner abuse, a Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA) is also available at all hours, seven days per week. The DAVA can be contacted at (575) 904-0800. If applicable, restricted reporting is available.