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Athens County Sheriff’s Office brings attention to Teen Dating Violence

Athens County Sheriff encourages people to wear orange Feb. 9 to raise awareness for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Dating can spiral downward for the one in six women and one in eight college-aged men who reported being sexually abused while in a relationship, according to

Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith has put in a request to have Stacy Crook, a domestic violence awareness advocate for the sheriff’s office, work with Athens High School and the county to raise awareness on all sides of teen dating violence.

February is dubbed Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and is a nationwide effort to raise awareness for teenagers and young adults.

Eleonor Elias, a freshman studying psychology, said her high school never utilized the awareness month to teach about teen dating violence.

This effort is not just local to Athens. Nationally, people are encouraged to wear orange Feb. 9 in honor of the effort.

Elias said she would go to her Resident Assistant if she or a friend were in a violent relationship but she was not sure what else Ohio University had to offer to help victims.

In college, 57 percent of students said that any form of dating violence is hard to identify and 58 percent said they wouldn’t know how to help someone in a violent relationship, according to

According to, only three percent of teenagers report dating violence.

Spencer Horn, a sophomore studying industrial engineering said a possible sign of dating violence was a drastic change in personality.

Not all dating violence is physical abuse, according to Some other forms of abuse teens fall victim to is verbal, sexual, psychological, digital and stalking.

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Horn said if he had a friend who was in a violent relationship, he would try to help them or seek help from someone who would know what to do.

In high school, 23 percent of female students and 14 percent of male students report some kind of dating violence, which is a total of 1.5 million students. This number is not fully accurate, though, because many teens do not report their situations.

Olivia Busby, a junior studying screenwriting and producing, said she is able to tell if someone is uncomfortable around their significant other through body language.

“I would tell him or her to break up with that person because that’s not healthy,” Elias said. “I would tell them to ask for help.”


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