February is Teen Violence Awareness Month in Henderson County.

The Henderson County Commissioners Court issued a proclamation provided East Texas Crisis Center and Henderson County Help Center concerning the issue on Tuesday.

"We've done this several years now and these ladies sitting at the back (representing the two organizations) are on the front line." County Judge Wade McKinney said.

Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year; and about one in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend; and victimization increases teens' risk of injury substance abuse, eating disorders, unwanted pregnancy, suicide and violent behavior. One in three adolescents is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

About 50% of all young people who suffer rape or sexual abuse will attempt suicide.

The proclamation states that 72% of all 13 and 14 year olds are considered to be dating.

A 43% share of reported cases of dating violence are reported to have happened in a school or on school grounds.

An estimated one-in-three teens who are in an abusive relationship ever tell anyone about the abuse.

Despite those statistics, 81% of parents of the teens surveyed either believe teen dating violence is not on issue or admit that they don't know if it is one.

"These numbers are always astounding each time," Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas said.

The proclamation states that it is essential "to raise community awareness and provide training for teachers, counselors and school staff that they can better recognize when youth are displaying signs of dating violence."

To raise awareness about teen dating violence, the State of Texas is participating in the seventh National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Citizens are urged to join the Crisis Center and Help Center in promoting healthy teen relationships while calling on youth and adults to observe the month.

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