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Posted on: February 13, 2017

FEBRUARY DECLARED AS NATIONAL TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND YOUNG HEARTS MATTER MONTH

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Since April 2015, when the District Attorney's Victims Unit was established, the team has assisted 6,000 victims of crime.

"We are able to provide important services for our only and to provide needed services to victims," said Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. "That has happened with your (Commissioners Court) continued support."

Victimization increases teens' risk for injury, substance abuse, eating disorders, unwanted pregnancy, and suicide, and young people exposed to violence are at a greater risk for becoming victims and perpetrators in adult relationships. 

County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Rodolfo "Rudy" Gonzalez, who will be presiding over the newly established Domestic Violence Court, said the new court will help address an ongoing problem.  

"This is another opportunity to help not only victims, but all who need services to stop the violence," said Gonzalez.

Respectful, supportive and non-violent relationships are key to safety, health and academic success and teen dating abuse is a significant health issue; with 10-20% of youth reporting physical or sexual violence from a dating partner.

"It takes each of us - individuals, schools, and community organizations - to educate our community on this terrible crime," said Victims Unit Director Rosie Martinez.  "During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships with others."
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