Choose Respect Conference Focus: #respectyourselfie2015

There will be a red carpet and selfies but what organizers hope to hashtag is information about healthy teen dating.respectlogo

The sixth annual Choose Respect conference is scheduled for March 8 from 1-4:30 p.m. at the Montgomery College Germantown Campus’ Globe Hall. This year’s focus is on healthy teen dating and social media.

“We take a look at how dating violence can take place on social media like tracking a person, bullying and sexting,” said Chery Kravitz, an organizer of event and member of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council for Montgomery County. “We hope to empower young people and parents what the signs are of abuse and what organizations to turn to for help.”

Kravitz should know. She’s a survivor of domestic violence and her teenage daughter suffered dating abuse as well, Kravitz said.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year and one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.

This free event provides tools to recognize and resources to handle incidences of dating abuse. Nearly 400 people including students, parents, youth workers and others have attended past events. The first 50 students in the door get a Chipotle Gift Card. There will be free pizza for attendees at the close of the conference. There will also be breakout groups in Spanish.

Participants will get the chance to walk the red carpet and take selfies using hashtag #respectyourselfie2015. The selfies will be broadcast on a large screen so attendees can see their photos and answers to questions in real time.

A highlight of the event will be the announcement of winners of the PSA contest about cyberstalking and young people.

Sponsors include Montgomery College, Verizon Wireless, zoomph, Montgomery County Family Justice Center and AWARE.

Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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