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Hochul issues proclamation declaring February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


Wed, Feb 7th 2024 08:50 am

State Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence launches ‘green flags’ social media campaign

Gov. Hochul has recognized February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in New York. Coinciding with the proclamation, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) launched a healthy relationship quiz aimed to help individuals spot the difference between green flags and red flags, and the “green flags” social media campaign.

“Through social media and other technological outlets, teenagers are bombarded by the pressures of society, and it is our responsibility to support them as they navigate the pitfalls and uncertainties of adolescence,” Hochul said. “My administration is committed to developing resources for families, schools and communities to expand youth mental health education and behavioral guidance as we work toward ending teen dating violence once and for all.”

NYS OPDV Executive Director Kelli Owens said, “Teenagers and young adults are one of the most vulnerable populations to dating violence, especially technology-facilitated abuse. OPDV is excited to launch our ‘healthy relationship quiz’ to help individuals learn the difference between red and green flags in a relationship. We encourage individuals of all ages to take this quiz and learn more about teen dating violence.”

OPDV said its healthy relationship quiz allows individuals to learn how to spot and navigate red and green flags in an intimate relationship. Participants choose responses to multiple scenarios to learn about healthy (green flags) and unhealthy (red flags) choices in intimate relationships. Individuals who take this quiz will receive a “healthy relationship” score at the end, as well as important information about why responses are red or green flags.

OPDV is partnering with former NFL quarterback Don McPherson and the Erie County government to bring “Start the Conversation: Engaging Men & Boys and the idea of Aspirational Masculinity” to the 2024 Teen Relationship Violence Awareness Youth Summit. This partnership will continue the work that OPDV and McPherson are doing to bring men and boys into the conversation of domestic and all gender-based violence.

In recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, OPDV will hold a “Modernizing Masculinity: How Men and Boys Can Break the Mold and Achieve Aspirational Masculinity” discussion on Feb. 28 in partnership with John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The event will feature discussions on modern day masculinity and how society can dispel toxic masculinity and achieve aspirational masculinity to be better allies, partners, and individuals.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Suzanne Miles-Gustave said, “As teens explore dating relationships, we must do everything we can to help them identify the difference between safe interactions and those that can be damaging and traumatizing. The growing influence of social media and other web-based interfaces place them at even greater risk of seeing and hearing inappropriate messaging. We can’t thank Gov. Hochul enough for assuring young people that the state is committed to protecting young New Yorkers, and we are equally grateful for our partners at OPDV for providing direct access to such vital resources. OCFS is so proud to be a part of this effort by funding prevention programs and support services for survivors, along with offering educational tools. We are helping implement the ‘Safe and Together’ model, a strengths-based intervention program for families impacted by domestic violence, and our Division of Juvenile Justice has also launched the ‘One Love Program,’ empowering young people to identify and avoid unhealthy relationships.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “The State Health Department encourages teenagers to learn to identify the difference between what is a healthy relationship and what could potentially be a dangerous situation.”

Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado said, “At DCJS, we work every day to make communities stronger and safer – and a significant part of that work involves connecting with, understanding, and supporting our youth and young people. Our agency also implements proven domestic and intimate partner violence intervention programs in our GIVE jurisdictions. We also help ensure law enforcement agencies are trained to assist domestic violence victims and survivors with professionalism, sensitivity, and an understanding of how trauma responses can affect victims of abuse. We are proud to partner with Gov. Hochul, OPDV, and our other state and local agency partners to highlight our collective efforts to prevent teen dating violence.”

Office of Victim Services Acting Director and Counsel John Watson said, “OVS is committed to standing by and assisting victims of crime of all ages and backgrounds. Dating violence between teens is just as serious as violence between adults, and, in fact, teens can be more vulnerable than adults to becoming victims of intimate partner violence. We thank Gov. Hochul and OPDV for calling attention to this important issue and for launching tools that can help teens recognize signs of dating violence; OVS will continue to provide support and resources to those who have been victimized.”

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence is the country's only executive level state agency dedicated to the issue of gender-based violence. The state's Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is available 24/7: 800-942-6906 (call), 844-997-2121 (text) or @opdv.ny.gov (chat). Individuals also can visit www.ovs.ny.gov/connect to find a victim assistance program in their community.

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