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KCBS Cover Story: Bay Area Schools Raise Awareness of Teen Dating Violence

SAN RAFAEL (KCBS) - Nearly one in three teenage girls are abused in relationships, a statistic born out in calls to every day to a Bay Area youth support group.

"It's scary. It's scary to hear these stories," said Jasmine Stevenson, health director for Huckleberry Youth Programs, a non-profit with offices in Marin and San Francisco counties.

KCBS Cover Story Series: Teen Dating Violence

"Some people really are just in unhealthy verbal abuse relationships. And then we're seeing physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse," she said.

KCBS' Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

While many non-profits have been reaching out to teenagers both gay and straight to educate them about abusive dating relationships, the message is not one most teenagers will hear in school.

Schools in Fremont, Oakland and San Francisco are among the few that require high school students be taught about the warning signs of abusive relationships.

Three times, state legislators have voted down bills mandating that all school districts teach teenagers about what anti-domestic violence advocates say has become a growing epidemic among young people.

Resources For Victims Of Teen Dating Violence

While there are many resources on the Internet, advocates urge parents and friends to be alert for behavior indicative of abuse.

"You shouldn't ever rush into relationships. You should get to know who you're dating before you date them, maybe the person's relationship history. It's really important to pay attention to red flags and warning signs," said Mika Sasaki, a sophomore at City College of San Francisco.

Sasaki recounts her own story of having to get a restraining order against a boyfriend in talks to high school students about teen dating violence.

Verbal abuse, controlling behavior, constantly keeping tabs on a person's whereabouts, and isolating a partner from friends or family are all things to watch for, she said.

Listen for Jeffrey's Cover Story reports, "Teen Violence," Monday through Friday, Dec. 10 – 14, at 6:20 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 4:20 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. on All News 740 and FM 106.9 KCBS.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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