Family Crisis Center working to curb domestic and sexual violence with teen relationship education

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Family Crisis Center of East Texas is teaching teens what healthy relationships look like and how that foundation can prevent domestic and sexual violence.

The Family Crisis Center is hoping to prevent the next generation from being perpetrators or victims of domestic and sexual violence by showing teens how to recognize healthy relationships.

Primary prevention coordinator with the Family Crisis Center, Joyce Pitts says, "Teenagers all the way to 25-year-olds that's the key age range for domestic violence and sexual violence either you perpetrate, you start perpetrating young or you become a victim young so regardless you need the knowledge of what a healthy relationship is."

H.E.A.R.T (Healthy Equitable Acceptable Relationships for Teens) camp is not set up like a classroom.

The students and teachers can interact with one another and actually learn about building healthy relationships while they're building healthy relationships with their peers.

This is the first-ever H.E.A.R.T camp and organizers have set up a fun and interactive environment for teens 13 to 18 to learn about relationships.

"We're going to have prizes, candy, food, pizza, all kinds of stuff," said Pitts. It is not going to be like a lecture thing where they have to sit and actually listen to me talk forever, they actually have to engage and be engaged."

Prevention coordinators say good relationships skills are key to preventing sexual and domestic violence before it happens.

"There is a basic formula to every healthy relationship," said Pitts. "A basic formula, not you know, every relationship is different, you have to have the big things: respect, communication, trust, acceptance, self, self-assurance.

H.E.A.R.T camp is free for all teens and continues through Wednesday, July 31st. The camp is in the Nacogdoches Recreation Center on North street.

It runs from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM Tuesday and Wednesday. All East Texas teens are welcome.

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