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Laura’s House and Verizon Wireless provide virtual support for teens

Local non-profit launches website for at-risk teens with support and education on domestic violence

by Kara VaporeanPublished: December 13, 2012 10:45 AM

Laura’s House and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to help teens throughout the community in a new interactive website, laurashouse.org/1hteen. In efforts to prevent dating abuse, Laura’s House if providing the support by educating at-risk teens with healthy relationship and conflict resolution skills through its Healthy Emotions and Attitudes in Relationships for Teens (HEART) program.

The virtual site will feature digital postcards that will provide tips and encouragement for teens that find themselves in abusive relationships as well as an online pledge that will enable teens to take a “virtual stand” against dating abuse. The site will also feature a quiz to assess if they are being abused or if they are an abuser. Music, news, current events, podcasts and other resourceful information will be available for at-risk teens looking for some answers.

The teen site is funded by the Verizon HopeLine grant, a program that helps domestic violence victims by providing them with recycled cell phones and other useful technology. In addition to the new site, funds from the grant will also go towards technology updates by providing tablets for shelter residence, educational videos and general operating support for shelters.

“We are grateful to Verizon Wireless for its generous Foundation grant that made it possible for us to bring the idea of a more modern and interactive teen Website to fruition,” said Marissa Presley, prevention and education specialist for Laura’s House. “Teens today spend so much of their time online, whether at the computer or on their smart phone, and we wanted to be able to offer them the information and interactive tools that they need to become better educated about dating abuse, and the behaviors and attitudes that can prevent that abuse from turning into tragedy.”

Across the country, nearly 1.5 million high school students experience abuse from a dating partner. Laura’s House is trying to change social beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that cater to domestic violence by providing a safe place for abuse victims. The non-profit organization provides shelter and support services to nearly 3,500 families along with counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to more than 40,000 victims.

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