Dating violence addressed at SCC event

Members of Deana’s Educational Theater demonstrate possible warning signs of abuse.
On Feb. 20, the Safe Community Coalition (SCC) held a healthy relationships and dating event, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” at McLean High School. The event covered the warning signs and possible paths of action dealing with emotional, physical and sexual abuse that can occur in relationships.

With approximately 100 students, parents and others in attendance, the event commemorated February as Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, which was officially recognized by Governor Bob McDonnell in 2011.

The event included a skit by Deana’s Educational Theater, an educational acting company working towards preventing dating violence. The skit demonstrated the warning signs of an abusive relationship and gave some examples of how to deal with one. After the skit, SCC Vice President Mimi Weisberg and trauma surgeon Khaled Basiouny led an auditorium-wide discussion on the topic of teen dating abuse.

Lynne Russell, co-founder of the DASH organization (Drug Abuse Stops Here) and mother of Siobhan Russell, a 19-year-old who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009, also spoke at the event, as did SCC Executive Director Nyka Feldman. When the night concluded, a team of mental health professionals were available to speak to concerned attendees one-on-one in private rooms set aside by the school.

The event was sponsored and organized by the McLean High School PTSA, the Jefferson PTSA, the Langley High School PTSA and The Madeira School in partnership with the SCC.

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’s daughter,” Russell said. “I want this to end here.”

For more information on teen dating abuse and how to stop it, visit the DASH website.