Wednesday workshop addresses teen violence, behavior

Could violence be a part of your teen’s social life or dating relationships?

According to “A Parent’s Guide to Teen Dating and Violence,” produced by the advocacy group Love is Not Abuse, the answer may surprise you. As the guide’s authors point out, “While we might think that relationship violence is something that could never affect the lives of our children, the truth is that nearly a third of girls surveyed said they know at least one student at school who has been physically abused by a person they were dating. The good news is that there is a lot we as parents can do to step in and help. All it takes is a little time, focus and a commitment to reach out, listen and talk to our teens.”

The nonprofit Response takes teen dating violence in the Roaring Fork Valley very seriously, and for many years we have been going to schools to educate children on healthy relationships, gender stereotypes and sexual assault. But parents have the biggest task of all. No one is better positioned to make a difference in the lives of young people than parents. Concerns about children staying clear of abuse, being respectful of others and finding healthy relationships need to be discussed. When those values are expressed by parents to their children, it’s when they matter most.

Response is hosting a FREE Parent’s Night at the Pitkin County Public Library (20 N. Mill St., Aspen) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The objective of this workshop is to introduce parents to the topic of teen dating violence, including the warning signs, provide parents with the tools to talk about the issue with their teen and encourage parents to use the resources provided and seek help if they suspect their teen is in an abusive relationship. This workshop is in collaboration with River Bridge Regional Center.

Txell Pedragosa

Program director, Response