Programs Target Dating Violence Among Teens

POTTSTOWN PA – Robin Jordan didn’t pull any punches.

Jordan (above), community outreach coordinator for the Women’s Center of Montgomery County, used incidents from her own family life to illustrate points in a presentation Tuesday (Jan. 17, 2017) about discovering dating violence and abusiveness among adolescents and teens. She was the featured speaker to members of the Pottstown-based TriCounty Community Network during its regular monthly meeting at Montgomery County Community College.

With stories that were variously funny, raw, or poignant, Jordan described how dating among youths can go from an innocent and friendly night out to something far uglier if those involved are unaware of or insensitive to the dangers. National statistics indicate one-in-three teens, about 33 percent, become victims of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

The Women’s Center, which operates a Pottstown area office at 1800 E. High St., Sanatoga, is a volunteer community organization that focuses on freeing individuals from domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Although February and Valentines Day are usually associated with romance and love, the center also is using the coming month to ensure area residents – and particularly teens and their parents – guard against dating violence.

Driving that message home to area school students also will be the mission next month of the network, an organization of individuals and representatives from more than 90 local agencies and businesses interested in solving community problems and meeting its needs. Executive Director Holly Parker said the network is scheduled to sponsor “Tie A kNOT In Dating Violence” programs during assemblies.

The network also is currently involved in planning for its second annual Women’s Symposium, scheduled for March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Copperfield Inn, 594 W. Ridge Pike, Limerick. Its topic this year is “Becoming a Woman of Influence,” and will feature speakers and round-table discussions on networking skills, leadership development, individuality, and career advancement.

Photo and video by The Post Publications