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DeKalb teens can vie for prom package in contest targeting teen dating violence

Rosie Manins | 2/17/2017, 6 a.m.

DeKalb teens can vie to win a luxury prom package in a contest to create a catchy public service message targeting teen dating violence.

The inaugural contest, sponsored by DeKalb Solicitor-General Donna Coleman-Stribling in observance of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, kicked off Feb. 13.

The February observance is a time when educators, law enforcement and other community groups focus attention on teen dating violence that affects nearly 1.5 million U.S. high school students in a single year.

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Donna Coleman-Stribling

Coleman-Stribling said young people are more likely to listen to their peers rather than adults.

“We’ve got lots of bright, talented kids in DeKalb who are all about doing the right thing,” she said. “This is an opportunity for them to make a difference using their smarts and creativity.”

The winner, who will be announced on March 10, will get a prom prize package that includes dinner for two, a limo service for the evening, free prom dress and accessories or tuxedo rental and accessories, and an outfit for their date.

The deadline to enter is March 4.

The contest, which is open to all DeKalb 11th- and 12th-graders, is supported by the Day League, formerly DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, Cinderella’s Gowns, and Men’s Wearhouse.

Students are invited to create a one-minute video promoting healthy teen dating practices that prevent dating violence and highlight positive characteristics such as honesty, compromise, good communication, individuality, understanding, and problem-solving.

The winning entry will be broadcast by CW Atlanta and distributed to DeKalb schools to play at each prom.

Entries can be submitted at www.dekalbsolicitorgeneral.org or delivered on a flash drive to the Solicitor-General’s Office at 556 N. McDonough St., Suite 500, Decatur.

Full contest rules and instructions are listed on the website. There are also links to teen dating violence resources.

Coleman-Stribling, who declared declared February 2017 Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in DeKalb during the Board of Commissioners' Feb. 14 meeting, highlighted some startling youth relationship abuse statistics.

She said that one in three teens will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.

Of all female victims of intimate violence, Coleman-Stribling said of 94 percent of those 16 to 19 years old are victimized by a current or former boyfriend and only 33 percent of teens involved in a violent relationship report the abuse.

“Eighty-one percent of parents either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit that they don’t know if it is an issue,” she said.

For more information, email solicitorPSAcontest@dekalbcountyga.gov, visit www.loveisrespect.org, call the hotline at 1-866-331-9474, or text “LOVEIS” to 22522.