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During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form relationships with others. Teens receive messages about how to behave in their relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. All too often these examples suggest violence in a relationship is okay.

Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling. These behaviors are often thought to be a “normal” part of a relationship. But these behaviors can set the stage for more serious violence.

Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together.

Thank you Principal Travis Barta, Apollo-Ridge Administration and Faculty for working together with the Demi Brae Cuccia Awareness Organization and Ladies Hospital Aid Society (LHAS), to implement effective strategies to prevent dating violence through our Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Outreach Program.

It was an honor to share Demi’s message with your 7th and 8th grade students today.