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Team to target teen-dating violence

Published: Tuesday, March 25 2008 12:40 a.m. MDT

PROVO — The Utah County Child Abuse Prevention Team is launching a targeted attack on dating violence next week by aiming at its roots: high school teen couples.

"The abusive relationships found in teen-dating violence tend to carry over to adult relationships," said Cindi Canaday, chairwoman for Provo's Child Abuse Prevention Team.

The team will start their "aggressive campaign" Thursday morning at Timpview High School where they will address counselors and student body officers. Then, in the parking lot they will have students stick large magnets on their cars and stickers to their notebooks with an abuse hotline phone number and the words, "Control is not love."

Dating violence or abuse affects one in four teens, according to the team; and 62 percent of Utah high schoolers believe abuse is a serious problem among their age group, a 2006 survey by the Utah PTA legislative conference found.

"It's important we catch this kind of behavior early," said Joshua Palmer, public relations intern, who said the campaign isn't just meant to target victims. "Ultimately, we hope abusers will see our message, too, and make behavioral changes."

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of abuse is asked to call an advocate in Utah County at 801-377-5500

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