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  • Writer's pictureDASH


On December 9, 2011, Wendy Claunch (DASH) and Heather Sarmiento (Fairfax County Office for Women and Domestic & Sexual Violence) were invited to speak by Madison High School in Vienna, Virginia. Two separate presentations were made—one to the boys and one to the girls of the senior class, both groups, totaling 460 students watched Lynne and Andy Russell tell Siobhan’s story in a newly produced video. Wendy and Heather then spoke about the early warning signs of teen dating abuse as well as tips on how to help a friend who may be in an abusive relationship. Heather shared her experience being followed by her ex-boyfriend. She pointed out that other girls at her school were informing her ex about where she was and who she was with. Heather said, “If a friend asks you to check up or keep an eye on their boyfriend or girlfriend, you need to say no because you are participating in the abusive behavior.” Wendy closed the program by asking the students to take the DASH pledge:

“Dating abuse stops here. It stops with me. I will not allow it. I will not perpetuate it and I will speak up if I see it happening."

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