Teen girls take stand on dating violence

admin | 12/28/2011, 7:30 a.m.

Dating violence is a serious and sometimes deadly occurrence that plagues the lives of young adults each day. In an effort to bring awareness to this issue among teens Urban Renewal Greater Enhancement National Team (URGENT), Inc.'s Rites of Passage Program held See It Our Way: Community Impacts of Teen Dating Violence at Miamis O Cinema, 90 NW 29th St. on Thursday, Dec. 8th. Teen dating violence is something that we want to help to decrease, said Saliha Nelson, vice president of Urgent, Inc. Today we presented a photo voice exhibit and discussion where young people explored certain issues in their communities using photos. The event featured photography from the young girls in the organization and personal reflection presentations by the teens about each photo. The photos were taken by girls in the Overtown, Little Haiti and Liberty City communities. This is the first time that the organization has had an event like this. This program has had a very positive impact on me, said Naomie Delva, 16, who has been involved with the program since the 7th grade. This program has changed me and helped to open my eyes to a lot of different things and it has helped me as a young woman. I feel like this program is making me a better woman in the long run. According to Miami-Dade County statistics, teen dating violence has increased by 40 percent since 2001. The Florida Legislature adopted legislation in 2010 to help prevent teen dating violence in schools.In this program I think that we learn a lot about women empowerment and we get to see different things in our communities that we would never notice, said Brianna Saffold, 16, who has been involved with the group since the 6th grade. This program has afforded me the opportunity to see things from a different view. By Randy Grice rgrice@miamitimesonline.com