First Step of WF raises awareness for teenage dating violence

First Step of WF raises awareness for teenage dating violence

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - As Teenage Dating Violence Awareness month has begun, teenagers and members of the community gathered to learn about dating violence at an event hosted by First Step of Wichita Falls.

First Step officials held this event on Saturday to emphasize what healthy relationships look like and to help participants understand the emotional, mental and physical abuse teenagers in relationships can potentially go through.

Kimberly Callahan, First Step of WF education coordinator, said one of the biggest signs to look out for in a relationship is jealousy.

“That’s usually one of the first signs,” Callahan said. "They try to tell them who they can and can’t talk to, what they can and can’t do. They’re very controlling. They’ll call them names and make fun of them. "

She made it clear that victims should not be afraid to reach out for help.

“The community, your teachers, and your parents would rather help you than see something happen," Callahan said. "We’re here 24/7 to talk to and we’ve got great resources too.”

Callahan said one in every three adolescents are affected by dating violence.

“It’s more common than people realize," Callahan said. “It does happen here. We’ve had some of the schools let us know that it happens.”

Participants painted an image based on what love and teenage violence means to them on square pieces of cloth. All of the pieces will be sown together into a quilt that will be displayed at various locations including the First Step building, local businesses and the mall.

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