New Program in Danville Teaches Teens About Preventing Dating Abuse

Danville, VA- There's a new program aimed at making middle and high schoolers aware of dating abuse.

The YWCA of Central Virginia Sexual Assault Response program recently started a 10-week dating abuse program called "Safe Dates."

Victim advocate Mary Jones teaches the students how to identify and know the difference between abusive and healthy relationships. She's already taught sessions at the Boys and Girls Club in Danville and is getting a good response.

"Scenarios about relationships. What did this person do right, what did they do wrong, what could have been done," said Jones.

"I liked it and it was cool because you would go in and she would teach you how to know what to do on a date, what not to do on a date," said Deja Dechazor, a session attendee.

Jones will also be speaking to the Boys and Girls Club in Chatham on Wednesday night.

The Sexual Assault Response Program will also be kicking off April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, with an event on April 2 at 10 a.m. in front of the Danville courthouse.

Mayor Sherman Saunders, Danville Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Newman, as well as a sexual assault victim will be speaking about the importance of sexual assault awareness.