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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Promoting 'welcoming communities' key to preventing teen dating violence

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024   

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and young people often find it hard to navigate experiences of harm.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2021, nearly 16% of Idaho youth surveyed said they had experienced sexual violence, higher than the national average of 11%.

D Dagondon Tiegs, bilingual social change associate for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said sexual violence is the result of imbalances in power.

"The tools that we have to prevent sexual violence within our communities is promoting communities that are welcoming of everyone, where everyone has what they need to be able to participate in their community, like school," Tiegs outlined. "So that they're not targeted and the power imbalance is mitigated."

Tiegs pointed out there are domestic and sexual violence programs across the state but more are needed, especially in rural communities. They also noted members of LGBTQIA+ communities and people of color are more likely to experience violence.

The rate of teen dating violence is likely much higher. Tiegs emphasized one of the biggest issues, especially when it comes to reporting, is young people don't feel heard.

"Young people are not likely to tell a trusted adult when they experience sexual violence," Tiegs explained. "They're more likely to tell a peer because adults dismiss the kind of dating violence that is happening with young people."

For someone who has experienced such of trauma, Tiegs stressed it is important to ask what they need and help the person reestablish their agency. They also added healing takes time.

"It's easy for us to be supportive at the beginning, but a consistent, ongoing supportive community and people who care about them because sexual violence and dating violence requires a long time to heal from," Tiegs concluded.

Disclosure: The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence contributes to our fund for reporting on Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Early Childhood Education, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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