CEDAR CITY — Two high school basketball teams are joining forces with the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center Wednesday to help raise awareness of dating violence as part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
At 7 p.m., the basketball teams for both Cedar High School and Canyon View High School will face off against their opponents while showing their support for the cause by wearing purple socks, Darrah Jones, youth coordinator for the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center, said. This will be the third time the two schools have teamed up with the Crisis Center as part of the awareness month.
Unlike other months designated to promote awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is significant because it concentrates on a specific age group, Jones said. This is important because, unlike some adults, teenagers may not yet be ingrained with certain violent behaviors.
“It’s unique because it’s very preventative,” Jones said. “It engages a lot of the community while they are still young and before they are really set in their ways.”
As teenagers, they are starting to experience relationships for the first time, Jones said. Taking a stand now really helps them to take care of the problem before it even comes up.
On Monday, as they have done on previous years, students at both high schools signed their names on banners; pledging to take a stand against dating violence and showing their commitment to the cause, Jones said. These banners will be hung at the schools and will remain there for the month.
“It really gets the students engaged and excited,” Jones said.
One in three young people will experience some form of abuse in their dating relationships, according to the awareness month’s website. This violence can come in different forms that resemble those found in violent adult relationships.
This abuse, according to the website, can typically come in four different forms: physical, verbal and emotional, sexual and digital. While people may be familiar with the first three forms, digital abuse uses technology or social media as a way to intimidate, harass or threaten. This can include demanding passwords, checking cell phones, sexting or sending threatening text messages.
At each of the basketball game halftimes, Jones said, a student representative of the Crisis Center will give a speech to the crowd. These speeches explain the different signs of dating violence and why raising awareness is important.
There will also be Crisis Center representatives at both basketball games, Jones said. People can visit these tables to ask questions and learn more about dating violence; both the dangers and how to take preventative measures.
“We will have pamphlets and other promotional items there,” Jones said.
Parents who may want their children to learn more about dating violence can contact the Crisis Center, Jones said. Options for these teens include volunteer time and even monthly group meetings where they can learn more about the dangers, signs and ways to combat violence.
The student athletes at both Canyon View High School and Cedar High School will be wearing purple socks to show their support, Jones said. The Crisis Center also provided each coach with a purple tie. Those planning to attend are also encouraged to wear purple to show their support.
Those who feel they may be a victim of domestic or dating violence are encouraged to seek help. Resources can be found on the Crisis Center website.
What: Basketball Games Promoting Healthy Relationships
When: Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.
Where: Canyon View High School | 166 W. 1925 North, Cedar City, UT 84721
Cedar High School | 703 W. 600 South, Cedar City, UT 84720
Contact: Darrah Jones | Telephone: 1-435-867-9411 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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