Northwestern District Attorney working to fight teen dating violence

At this conference they introduced educators with two news programs that with help them teach teenagers about healthy relationships

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Teen dating violence is a topic not often talked about. That is why the Northwestern District Attorney’s office brought relationship experts, educators and other public officials together Tuesday to discuss how they can educate teens on healthy relationships.

“I’ve been involved in domestic violence for 20 years, and it’s always been below the surface, but teen relationships and teen dating violence has always been there, and its time that we need to address that,” said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.

At this conference, they introduced educators to two news programs that with help them teach teenagers about healthy relationships.

Education professionals hope that by getting this word out to people, they will prevent further domestic violence issues down the line.

“By talking about it when they’re young and clarifying what’s a healthy relationship, what’s possessive whets not a healthy sign that teens will be able to recognize and say ‘hey, that person is not respecting me,’” said Becky Lockwood of the Center for Women and Community in Amherst.

One of the topics discussed was “sexting” and the potential dangers of it in this digital age. The preventative programs they are bringing to Hampshire and Franklin Counties are both school and community-based.