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#ICanDoSomething Campaign Challenges Tech Savvy Youth To Support Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Nicole Barylski

Members of The Retreat's Teen Leaders. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

This year, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is presenting the #ICanDoSomething awareness campaign to highlight February, which is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. To help spread the word about the initiative, OPDV is inviting students ages 14 to 18 throughout New York State to create their own original video, limited to one minute or less in length, that portrays one or more values of a healthy relationship.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, intimate partner violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In 2014, a total of 921 family offense petitions were filed by individuals 21 and under, with 873 filed for individuals 17 to 21-years-old and 48 for individuals 16-years-old and under, which was a 10 percent decrease from 1,018 in 2013.

The Retreat, the East End's only domestic violence services agency, is encouraging tech savvy teens to showoff their filmmaking skills by submitting an entry to the campaign. "Students are being invited to put their creative ideas and social media skills to work," said Loretta Davis, Executive Director at The Retreat. "We anticipate great participation in the challenge to bring attention to teen dating violence." Once they've finished their video, East End teens should make sure to share the video with The Retreat by using the hashtag #RetreatICDS. The Retreat will then share the videos to its social media channels to help entries made by local youth go viral.

Submissions will be accepted through Sunday, January 31st. The top 12 finalists will be picked to compete through public voting. The top entries will be awarded prizes, which include a Go Pro Camera, one year's supply of movie tickets and a party pack.

For more information, visit icandosomethingchallenge.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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