Throughout the United States, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner each year, with one in three also experiencing the tinge of sexual, emotional or verbal abuse.
The chilling statistics were cited in a proclamation issued by Comal County Commissioners that designated February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in the county. It asks residents to join the Crisis Center of Comal County in promoting healthy teen relationships through “activities and conversations about respectful and non-violent relationships in their homes, schools and communities.”
Ellie Truan, Crisis Center prevention specialist, said the month is about raising community awareness about youth dating violence.
“Our job is to go out and teach our youth about healthy relationships … right now we’re learning
from them that trust means having partners share their social media passwords so they can be controlled, or demanding their whereabouts at all times,” she said.
Truan said kids need to know that self-worth isn’t measured by numbers of ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ that enhance social media status. They also need to know it’s not OK to fear being blackmailed by partners threatening to post private photos online.
Only 33% of teens in abusive relationships ever tell anyone, with 81% of parents surveyed who either believe teen-dating violence isn’t an issue or don’t know that it is.
“Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a great way to spread that message to the community,” Truan said. “It’s not just about training students, teachers and staffers but it’s also about involving parents, grandparents, siblings — to get them to have the conversations about what our kids are going through.”
Commissioners also issued a proclamation honoring the 100th Anniversary of the League of Women Voters, presented to members of the League of Women Voters of the Comal Area. A scheduled presentation on Comal Master Gardeners’ new website was asked to be rescheduled for March 5.
Also Thursday, commissioners approved:
• Acceptance of a $35,000 donation from Bulverde Little League and a $2,000 donation from the Canyon Lake Football Association toward improvements at Jumbo Evans and Hidden Valley sports parks.
• Acceptance of roads in portions of The Preserve at Singing Hills subdivision into the county road system, acknowledge construction of wastewater treatment facilities and release of the associated construction surety bond.
• Acceptance of a surety bond for construction of storm water drainage and other improvements within a portion of the Veramendi subdivision.
• Amended plats combining lots in portions of the Mystic Shores and Cypress Lake Gardens subdivisions.
• A request to delay the county road department’s water basin from the Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan for another year.
• Approved discontinuing receipt of county’s charitable bingo prize fees.
• Enrolling county employees in the Texas Association of Counties’ Cybersecurity training course, and an interlocal agreement for sharing property appraisals and tax database information with the Comal Appraisal District.
• Extending a cost sharing agreement with Comal County Veterans Council for use of a county van to transport vets two and from medical facilities in San Antonio.
Commissioners next meet at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 13 in Commissioners Courtroom, 100 Main Plaza in New Braunfels. To access meeting videos and agendas, visit www.co.comal.tx.us/agenda.htm.