In recognition of Teen Dating Awareness Month, the Child and Family Center is hosting its free annual “A Night of Expressions” 6 p.m., Feb. 20 for teens to express what teen dating violence means to them through art.
“Teens experience dating violence, and they need support and resources,” said Nila Karimzai, domestic violence outreach specialist at the Child and Family Center. “We want to let them know that we are here to support them and they are not alone.”
For the third year, the center is opening an exhibit for teens to express how they feel through different drawings, paintings, sculptures and other art forms.
This year, there will be a new spoken-word element, where teens can express how they feel through poetry.
Additionally, there will be an installation called “Walk in Their Shoes,” where shoes will be laid out, all enclosing a story of someone who experienced teen dating violence.
“Each shoe tells a story, as you walk through their shoes,” said Karimzai.
There is a misconception of who can experience dating violence. In the past, resources for dating violence were only available for adults because it was not accepted that teens also experience this type of violence, according to Karimzai.
“Instead of waiting to educate them as adults, we need to guide them at this age because it is crucial,” said Karimzai.
Throughout the event, there will be music and light refreshments for attendees to enjoy.
Different organizations will table at the event, including College of the Canyons, National Alliance on Mental Illness and more to show their support while providing resources to the public.
“Our job is to spread awareness about teen dating violence and let teens know that we are here to help them,” said Karimzai.
The Child and Family Center is located at 21545 Centre Pointe Parkway. For more information about the event, call 661-259-8175.