If you haven’t heard yet, a local Santa Clarita teen (19 years old) is facing charges for 29 counts of sexual assault involving 14 girls, some as young as 12 years old. (http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19592292)
This disturbing news and several key discussions with a few of the school sites we service has served as a catalyst for a critical program that will soon be offered by the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project. We are diligently working on a presentation that will not only address this important and timely topic, but provide teens with information to arm and empower themselves when facing choices that could ultimately impact the rest of their lives. Discussions about the dangers of Facebook and social media as a whole, as well as texting, online chat rooms, the use of cameras/video and other technologies need to happen now. With more teens receiving phones, computers, tablets and other means of technology over the holidays, it will open them up more than ever for potential online bullying, sexual promiscuity and even increase the chances of being targeted by predators.
Our unique access to teens and their thoughts and feelings gives us a rare opportunity to talk openly about these topics. More and more, we have heard about how technology is used as a way to engage in risky behavior. We are confident that our presentation will enlighten teens about the risk, consequences and life-long repercussions and that being armed with this information could mean the difference between engaging and thinking twice about who they communicate with as well as what information they share, whether they choose to or feel coerced into doing so.
Our goal is to bridge the gap between teens and the parents/faculty who work so hard to protect them by educating both the youth as well as parents. Providing teens and parents information on the dangers and warning signs, helping them find ways to prevent unsafe situations to begin with and understanding and utilizing online security are just a few ways we can reach families and keep our teens educated and safe from potential devastation.