SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Santa Clara County hosts its first workshop aimed at helping teenage victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse on Thursday.

Experts will show victims and loved ones how to navigate the court system, as well as get protection, legal help and health services, said Carla Collins with the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy.

“With teen violence, it does look a little bit different than what we think of with adults,” she said, noting excessive texting as one potential method. The underlying dynamic of the relationships, however, is the same.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The workshop will focus primarily on teaching young people to recognize signs of the controlling behavior that can lead to overt physical violence.

“Most of it is going to be recognizing the red flags, looking for the symptoms of abuse so that you know what to identify,” Collins said.

She said 1 in 3 teenage girls experience some sort of abuse in their romantic relationships, and nearly 80 percent of teen girls who’ve been physically abused in intimate relationships continue to date their abusers.

Collis said experts from the court system, law enforcement and other non-profit agencies all volunteered their time for the workshop because funding for domestic violence prevention has been cut so severely.

“In terms of prevention, there’s almost no funding anymore,” she said.

The county has held similar workshops for adults since 2007.

Santa Clara County had 16 domestic violence deaths last year.

The Domestic Violence Information and Resources Collaborative Teen Dating Workshop takes place Feb. 9 from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Community Services, 1381 S 1st St., San Jose.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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