By Britt Moreno
LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s things like “I haven’t seen my friends in two weeks. Is this abuse?” that gets texted to an anonymous line in Longmont.
The person who answers questions like that is Brandon Seeley with Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley. He says kids as young as middle schoolers all the way to high school will text with concerns like:
– A partner isolating a boyfriend or girlfriend from family
– A partner forcing another to have sex
Seeley told CBS4’s Britt Moreno on CBS4 This Morning Friday that teen dating violence is pervasive in our communities.
“It’s that controlling behavior we see that defines unhealthy abusive relationships,” Seeley said.
One in three Colorado teens are victims of an abusive relationship. Seeley spoke with 800 kids last semester in the St. Vrain Valley School District and says 95 percent of students admit they have seen teen dating violence or been a victim.
This week students at local high schools and students who attend Longmont Youth Center planted a crop of flags in various areas around town.
There are 1200 hundred flags representing the average size of a school in that district. The red flags in a patch of white flags signify the teens who are affected by teen dating violence.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
For information on unhealthy relationships visit: www.loveisrespect.org
To text Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley: Anonymous Teen text line: 720-340-8372
Crisis Line: 303-772-4422
TERA (Teens Ending Relationship Abuse) website: www.safesheltertera.org
National Teen Text Line 24/7: text- lovies to 22522
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 1-866-331-8453
National Parent Helpline: 1-855-4A Parent (1-855-427-2736) website: www.nationalparenthelpline.org