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CA high schoolers raising awareness about teen dating violence

By Shayla Girardin

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    FRESNO, California (KFSN) — In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a group of local students is taking action to educate their peers on the topic.

Reedley High School senior Emily Medina-Delgado is on a mission to spread a message.

“This has always been a topic I’ve been passionate about,” said Medina-Delgado. “Mostly because there’s a lot that gets left unsaid. At our age I feel like it’s such a big issue.”

She’s one of dozens of student ambassadors partnering with the Marjaree Mason Center to shed light on the topic.

“I feel like things like this shouldn’t be considered normal in our time,” added Medina-Delgado, “So that’s what motivated me to be part of the club and inspired me to do more.”

1 in 3 teens experience teen dating violence and February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Marjaree Mason Center is getting the word out. Their kNOw MORE program is part of over 20 Fresno County high schools.

“Several years ago we changed our mission statement and said we’ve got to invest in prevention because we don’t want to just keep helping people who’ve gotten to the extreme,” said Executive Director of the Marjoree Mason Center Nicole Linder.

This month students are giving presentations to their peers, hosting outreach booths, and speaking to city council.

“They feel that this topic is something they’re afraid to talk to people about so we want to normalize the conversation,” added Linder.

That’s just the start, you’ll also see the group at various basketball games wearing their signature color orange.

“I think kids often think that nobody is going to take them seriously but nothing is further from the truth,” said Linder.

If you or a loved one is experiencing dating violence you can contact the Marjaree Mason Center at their 24-hour hotline 559.233.HELP

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