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Today in
S.C.V. History
November 27
1941 - Funeral for "our" Remi Nadeau, whose Canyon Country deer park became North Oaks [story]
Remi Nadeau

wsh_logo_best_hartdistrictWilliam S. Hart Union High School District officials hosted their fourth and final Parent and Student Empowerment Night of the school year Thursday, focusing on teen dating violence.

There have been 70 major incidents in the Hart district this year that are behavior-related, which could be drugs, fighting, etc., according to Kathy Hunter, the director of student services for the William S. Hart Union High School District. Of those 70, twelve percent were sexually related, which include sexual harassment, sexual assault, all the way up to rape. Out of that 12 percent, about half involved junior high students.

The statistics are indicated there could be as many as thousands of teens affected in the Santa Clarita Valley, based on national averages. Teens say 1-in-4 are abused or harassed online or through texts by their dating partners. Two times as many teenage girls than boys reported sexual abuse online and through texts.

And another troubling stat for officials: Less than 1-in-10 victims of digital dating abuse seek help.


Kathy Hunter

There’s “a need to bring information to parents and communities members about what students are facing in their schools, or could be facing, on a daily basis,” Hunter said.

There’s a social cycle theory to explain the patterns of behavior in an abusive relationship, according to the Centre County Women’s Resource Center.

The first step is tension building. The tension increases, and the victim becomes fearful and feels the need to calm the abuser.

The second step is the incident, whether it be verbal, emotional or physical abuse. There is anger, blaming, arguing, and threats in this step.

The third step is reconciliation. The abuser apologizes and gives excuses, or blames the victim and denies the abuse occurred. The abuser might even say that it wasn’t as bad as the victim claimed.

The fourth step is calm. The incident is “forgotten,” and there is no abuse taking place. This is often referred to as the “honeymoon phase.” It will eventually cycle back to the first step.

“Abuse is never your fault… If you are 12 years old in the state of California, you, without your parents consent, could get a domestic violence restraining order against a perpetrator,” said Karissa Valencia, the program director of the DVC.

Digital tools, such as social media and text messaging, have given bullies and abusers a new way to control and degrade their victims anywhere, at any time, according to an URBAN Institute study in Sept. 2013.

Teen dating violence, or TDV, is a type of interpersonal violence, or IPV, that happens between two people in a relationship or former relationship, according to StrengthUnited.

IPV occurs when one person uses power and control over another through physical, emotional or sexual threats or actions.

TDV includes: physical abuse, sexual violence, emotional and mental abuse, verbal abuse, unequal power in the relationship, and online abuse.

Minors that engage in sexual activity is a violation of law, whether it is forced or not. Detective Uribe with the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department encourages them to wait until they are adults, “be a kid for as long as you can be a kid because once you become an adult, the responsibilities you have go out the road. Enjoy your childhood.”

“I brought [my daughter] here because she had a boyfriend and we cut that off and said ‘you are too young,’ and I wanted her to hear from a different perspective what my husband and I have already tried explaining to her about… I thought it was easier for her to hear it from someone other than us.” said Suzanne Mertan who  brought her young daughter Jaiden to the event.

Some safety tips include knowing limits, being careful with drinks, always having a cellphone charged and a way home, giving clear messages and answers and trusting instinct.

Help is available 24/7 at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE, and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, 1-866-331-9474.

The Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley also offers a crisis hotline at 661-259-8175, a 30-day crisis shelter for victims and their children, outreach counseling programs, legal advocacy, children’s programs and volunteer training.


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Friday, Nov 20, 2020
The families of Gracie Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell, the two students who died during the Saugus High School shooting filed wrongful death lawsuits Monday against the William S. Hart Union High School District.
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