LAKE ZURICH – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon was today joined by representatives of Verizon and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) to recognize four Lake Zurich High School students who were the first place winners of the “No More Dating Abuse” video competition, sponsored by Verizon. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
“It is important to teach young people what a healthy relationship looks like, and we need to also make sure we reach those who might be in unhealthy relationships,” said Simon, a former prosecutor of domestic battery cases. “These young people produced a powerful and creative video that will not only help their peers identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship, but it will hopefully encourage victims to seek help.”
This competition is the first of its kind in Illinois and was coordinated by Lt. Governor Simon and the ICADV. Last October, all high school students throughout the state were invited to submit videos that called for an end to teen dating violence and promoted healthy relationships. The Lake Zurich High School was presented $1,000 for hosting the winning students’ entry and the winning student team received iPads, courtesy of Verizon.
“I believe the enthusiastic response we received from teens throughout the state indicates this type of project can help raise awareness of the issue and provides teens with a fun and exciting way to use technology to help others learn about and speak out against dating violence,” said Vickie Smith, chief executive officer of ICADV. “ICADV is thrilled to be working with Lt. Governor Simon and grateful to Verizon to help get these teens involved.”
“Domestic violence is not just limited to adults, but rather can start at any age,” said T.J. Fox, region president for Verizon. “We applaud all the students who created videos sharing messages and examples of healthy relationships. These videos are one small step in the fight against domestic violence.”
Dating violence is a serious problem, Simon said. Almost 10 percent of high school students reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) survey. About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age, the CDCP reports.
The winning videographers at Lake Zurich High School are: Kasia Konsor, Kati Stavropoulos, Amanda Buckstaff and Ian Hesch. Their nearly one-minute video shows teens how to identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship, how victims can get help, and urges teens to support healthy relationships. The second and third place teams hail from Moline and Paris, Ill., respectively. To view the top three winning videos, please visit www.ilcadv.org.