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Lt. Governor Simon honors teens working to end teen dating violence 

 
MOLINE – Feb. 28, 2014. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon was today joined by representatives of Verizon and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) to name four Moline High School students the first place winners of the “NO MORE Dating Abuse” video challenge. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

“It is important that young people can recognize signs of an unhealthy relationship and know how to get out,” said Simon, a former prosecutor who founded Virtual Legal Clinics to aid abuse survivors in underserved areas of the state. “These students produced strong messages to help their peers identify the signs of unhealthy relationships and showed that it’s never too late to seek help or speak up when you see a friend in trouble.”

Now in its second year, this challenge is the first of its kind in Illinois and is coordinated by the ICADV and the Lt. Governor’s office, and sponsored by Verizon. Last September, all high schools throughout the state were encouraged to invite their students to submit a video that called for the end of teen dating violence and promoted healthy relationships. Moline High School received $1,000 for submitting the winning entries, and students on the winning team received iPads.

“Two primary components are highlighted by this project: the public and private partnerships with Verizon and the Lt. Governor’s Office, and the enthusiasm and engagement of the youth all working together to help end domestic violence in Illinois,” said ICADV Chief Executive Officer Vickie Smith.

“The unique perspective that teens bring to these videos is so important in helping to increase their understanding, awareness and communication on the topic of healthy relationships and domestic violence,” said Verizon Wireless Region President Brian Pascoe. “We are proud of their work and appreciate the opportunity to support this program with the Lt. Governor.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), almost 10 percent of high school students reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. About one in five women and nearly one in seven men who have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age, the CDCP reports.

The winning videographers at Moline High School are: Gabrielle Pinc, Travis Meier, Elane Edwards and J.J. Schrick. Their nearly one-minute video shows teens how to identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship, how victims can get help, and urges teens to support healthy relationships. The second and third place teams are from South Elgin High School Beacon Academy and Eastland Junior/Senior High School in Lanark, IL, respectively. To view the top three winning videos, please visit www.ilcadv.org.