WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES FEBRUARY 18, 2021 13
Preventing teen domestic violence in Queens
BY STACEY PHEFFER AMATO
I want to discuss a very serious but
important topic in recognition of
Teen Dating Violence Awareness
According to the CDC, nearly one
in 11 female high school students and
one in 15 male high school students
reported experiencing physical
dating violence in the last year. Additionally,
26 percent of women and
15 percent of men who are victims of
sexual violence fi rst experience this
violence by a partner before age 18.
These statistics are troubling, and
rates of domestic violence have only
increased during the COVID-19 pandemic
while we are all staying home.
These statistics are beyond disturbing:
that’s why I will be hosting a
panel on Thursday, Feb. 18, from 6 to
7:30 p.m. with representatives from
Safe Horizon and Shalom Task Force.
This will be an open and honest conversation
for parents, guardians and
anyone who works with young people
about how to support the teens in your
lives. Attendees will be anonymous,
so anyone can log on to the event and
ask questions if they need support. To
register for the event, call my offi ce at
718-945-9550 or email amatos@nyassembly.
Domestic abuse is a particularly diffi
cult issue because the abuser is close
to the victim. A domestic abuser may
be tough to recognize, because oft en
their behavior is concealed and hidden.
That’s why it is so important that
we empower the people in our lives to
recognize, speak out and report this
Young people are at particular risk
of abuse while they are participating
in extracurricular or volunteer
activities beyond their household.
Abuse does not only take a physical
form; many instances of abuse begin
with psychological aspects, which
creates a hostile work environment.
This forum will explore these questions
and more with experts, and
provide resources for both teens and
If you are a parent, talk to the teenagers
in your lives about what healthy
relationships look like and how they
deserve to be treated in personal and
professional settings. Communicate
with them about warning signs from
other adults, and ensure that there
is another adult that they can talk to
about their concerns.
If you or someone close to you is
experiencing any form of abuse, I
see you, I hear you and I believe you.
I am here to support you, and you
are not alone. There are resources
in your community, including Safe
Horizons, which you can contact at
800-621-HOPE (4673), and Shalom
Task Force, which you can contact at
Please join us on Thursday and
learn how you can support the people
in your life who need help. Everyone
can make a diff erence, and we can all
come together to bring some light to
this terrible darkness.
Stacey Pheff er Amato is the assemblywoman
in District 23, which covers
Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard
Beach, Lindenwood, Ozone Park
and the Rockaway Peninsula.
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