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April 10, 2001

Illinois Department of Human Services Hosts Symposium on Teen Dating Violence

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) today hosted a first-of-its kind Symposium on Teen Dating Violence at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

The Symposium brought together 150 leaders from a number of fields including school administrators, researchers, youth service professionals and experts in domestic violence and sexual assault. Statistics show that dating violence and sexual assault are growing problems, particularly among young teens.

"The Symposium on Teen Dating Violence is an unprecedented opportunity for everyone to work together on a plan to help teens address this very serious issue," said Governor George H. Ryan. "Early identification of teen dating violence and effective intervention at an early age are critical to our goal of giving teens the confidence, support and resources to end this frightening trend."

Research indicates that youth who witness domestic violence and those who use alcohol or other drugs may be more likely to experience dating violence. Studies also show that young people who experience abuse in a relationship are not likely to see help from an adult.

"I am pleased that leaders from around the state are willing to participate in this symposium to help address the growing problem of teen dating violence," said DHS Secretary Linda Renee Baker. "We must help our adolescents understand that they should never tolerate violence in their relationships and that violence is never an acceptable response to relationship difficulties."

The keynote speaker for the Symposium was Patricia Acchiuzzo Giggans, M.A., Executive Director of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women. Panelists included: Paul Schewe, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago; Barri Rosenbluth, LMSW-ACP of A Safe Place in Austin, TX and Jody Raphael of the Center for Impact Research in Chicago. Participants discussed research, prevention and intervention issues.


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