William 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.
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.
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.
Santa Clarita education officials from the Newhall School District said Thursday they’re taking “an abundance of caution” after multiple COVID-19 diagnoses were linked to the district office, on the corner of Orchard Village Road and Wiley Canyon Road.
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendations to name Dr. Juliet Fine as the new principal of Academy of the Canyons (AOC) and Nina Zamora as the principal of Bowman High School.
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board will hold its regular meeting virtually Wednesday, Nov. 18, beginning with a closed session at 6:00 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 7:00 p.m.
Zonta International’s “16 days of Activism” is held annually from Nov. 25 - Dec. 10. Since 2016, Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley has participated in the annual "Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women" campaign in collaboration with the Child and Family Center.
On Monday, Nov. 30, College of the Canyons will host a virtual soft opening of its Multicultural Center, which will provide safe and brave spaces for historically minoritized and marginalized groups on campus with the goal of increased diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the college’s fabric.
Travel through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest, past the sea of twirly-swirly gum drops and into a month of non-stop fun and entertainment with the city of Santa Clarita’s virtual events in December.
While local health care officials have been asking for the community’s help in creating personal protective equipment since the onset of the pandemic, now the message is simpler: Abide by public health guidelines.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 49 new deaths and 4,311 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 countywide since Tuesday, including 96 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, as Henry Mayo on Wednesday afternoon reported its second death this week.
In response to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' 3-2 vote Tuesday allowing further COVID-19-related closures to take effect Wednesday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger is calling for $10 million in federal CARES Act funding to be repurposed to aid impacted local businesses.
After declaring himself the winner of the 25th Congressional District or CA-25 race last week, Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, continued his less-than-1% lead over opponent Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, after a Tuesday vote count update.
More than 130 California death row inmates received more than $400,000 in unemployment checks meant to help people during the pandemic — and they were not alone, according to prosecutors who announced the massive fraud scheme Tuesday.
A chilly Thanksgiving is in store for the Santa Clarita Valley as a cold-weather alert will be in effect Thursday and Friday due to National Weather Service forecasts of wind chill temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Following surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday 51 new deaths - including an additional death at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital - and 3,692 new cases of COVID-19.
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