Ellenville/Saugerties, N.Y. – County Executive Mike Hein announces and congratulates the winners of Ulster County’s 4th Annual Teen Dating Violence Video Contest. The Teen Dating Violence Video Contest Committee was formed as a subcommittee of the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence with the goal to raise awareness about the national issue of teen dating violence. The contest encouraged students to produce creative short informative videos that identified signs of unhealthy or abusive relationships, while including local domestic violence resources. This year there were three high schools who participated; Ellenville, Saugerties and Kingston.
- Winning 1st place was a video titled “Get Help” created by students from Saugerties High School: Alexis Metcalf, Becky Sauer, Brandon Salmi and Dylan Smith.
- Winning 2nd place was a video titled “The Perfect Couple” created by students from Ellenville High School: Christian Valdez, Anastasia Keener, Joyce Valdez, Justin Guliano, and Donnie Paes.
- Winning 3rd place was a video titled “Love Isn’t Perfect” created by students from Saugerties High School: Ethan Carroll and Julie Raleigh.
The winning videos from Saugerties High School and Ellenville High School can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/mrrcxzdOAJk.
Teachers Tim Lukaszewski from Ellenville High School and Scott Wickham and Jackie Hayes from Saugerties High School acted as media coordinators who worked with their students. The contest winners and participants received certificates from County Executive Hein and the winners also received gift cards from the Teen Dating Violence Video Contest Committee. Gift cards were made possible thanks to the Ulster County Police Chiefs Association.
Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive
“Once again, the students who participated in our Teen Dating Violence Video Contest produced outstanding videos to help raise awareness of the national issue of teen dating violence,” said County Executive Hein. “I want to thank and congratulate the students on their hard work and creativity. Unfortunately, statistics show that one of three teens experience some kind of abuse in their dating relationships and that is why it is important to address this difficult topic. We hope that these videos will be seen by their peers, helping others recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship and direct teens to the resources that are available if they find themselves in or observing an abusive situation. One of the many resources here in Ulster County is our Crime Victims Assistance Program and they can be reached through their 24-hotline number at 845-340-3442.”
County Executive Hein continued, “I want to thank the Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence and its subcommittee for their efforts in organizing this video contest and the Ulster County Police Chiefs Association who helped make it possible.”
Michael A. Iapoce, Esq., Ulster County Commissioner of Social Services and Chair of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence
“The Council is proud to continue to sponsor the Teen Dating Violence Video Contest and appreciates County Executive Hein’s ongoing commitment to raising awareness about this issue in Ulster County,” said Michael A. Iapoce, Esq., Ulster County Commissioner of Social Services and Chair of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence. “The student and educator participation in the contest embraces what seems to be a growing nationwide trend of teens becoming more involved in addressing current social/safety issues that exist in today’s world on their school campuses. These issues are extremely important and locally we are encouraged that youth in our community see the need to advocate for education and awareness and use their creative talents to achieve this goal. Congratulations and thanks to all of the High School administrators, staff and students that participated in raising awareness about this important topic."
Sarah Kramer-Harrison, Counselor/Educator at the Ulster County Crime Victims’ Assistance Program, Member of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence
“Positive partner relations are not always learned in the home. They can be learned in school, at friends’ houses or from peers; this is the beauty of the Teen Dating Violence Video Contest as it puts teenagers in the role of educator. With the help of their audio video teachers, students are empowered to speak about how to prevent, notice and advocate for someone who is in an abusive relationship. When we have an open dialogue about the dangers, signs and resources available to teen dating violence victims’ we create a community support network for youth to reach out to,” said Sarah Kramer-Harrison, Counselor/Educator at the Ulster County Crime Victims’ Assistance Program and Member of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence. “Thanks to the ongoing support of County Executive Hein, the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence will continue to host this contest highlighting the talents of our High School students. The response to this year’s contest exceeded our expectations once again.”
Joseph Sinagra, Saugerties Police Chief, Member of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence
“Ulster County Executive Michael Hein continues to be a true champion in supporting healthy relationships amongst the youth of Ulster County,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra. “Once again, Executive Hein has demonstrated his continued support of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence and their efforts in educating our young adults about the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships free of verbal, physical and psychological abuse. Without such support, the pattern of behavior associated with domestic violence cannot be broken.”
Philip Mattracion, Village of Ellenville Police Chief and Ellenville School Board Member
“Although it is with deep regret that I was unable to attend this year's awards to recognize the hard work that our students put forth in this all important campaign against teen violence, I want to thank and commend the Ellenville students for not being silent about the important pressing problem of teen dating violence,” said Village of Ellenville Police Chief Philip Mattracion. “I want all students to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: `faith is taking that first step even though you don't see the staircase.´ I would also like to remind the students that in the final analysis King said, `your life begins to end the first day you stay silent about things that matter.´ I am very proud of the work that the Ellenville students are doing in bringing awareness to the silent epidemic of teen dating violence.”
Lisa A. Wiles, Superintendent of Ellenville Central School District
“We are very proud of our students and the extraordinary videos they produced which are public service announcements on teen dating violence,” said Lisa A. Wiles, Superintendent of the Ellenville Central School District. “They continue to help shine a light on dating violence, a very real danger facing teens today, and their videos may in fact inspire a teen in an abusive relationship to seek help."
Thomas Averill, Principal, Saugerties Central School District
"This is the fourth year in a row that Saugerties students have been involved with the Teen Dating Violence video competition,” said Thomas Averill, Principal, Saugerties High School. “I am very proud of the focus and awareness our students have demonstrated through video technology toward this very important issue. Not only has Saugerties always had at least one place winner each year, but the number of videos and students involved has grown yearly. In the end, it is our hope that these videos will help raise awareness with Domestic Violence.”
Some of the statistics regarding teen dating violence are as follows:
- Girls and women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
- 1 in 3 high school girls is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
- 1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.
You can help a friend or family member in an abusive relationship by:
- Being supportive and patient, and listening. It’s important that the victim expresses their feelings in a non-judgmental environment.
- Let them know you are worried about them or that you are concerned for their safety.
- Provide them with the appropriate information for resources that can help them (hotline numbers are listed below).
Teen Dating Violence and Domestic Violence Resources in Ulster County:
- Family of Woodstock 24-Hour Hotline (845) 679-2485, www.familyofwoodstockinc.org
- Crime Victims’ Assistance Program 24-Hour Hotline (845) 340-3442 http://ulstercountyny.gov/probation/crime-victim-assistance
- Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (845) 331-9373 www.lshv.org
- The County Executive and the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence developed a domestic violence smartphone app which can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching “Ulster County Domestic Violence.”
National and State Teen Dating Violence and Domestic Violence Resources:
- Love is Respect Hotline: 1 -866- 331-9474 www.loveisrespect.org
- NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence 1-800-942-6906 (English & Spanish) http://www.opdv.ny.gov/
The Ulster County Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence gathers together organizations that serve domestic violence victims to provide seamless delivery of services throughout Ulster County, as well as provide educational and preventative activities designed to build awareness of the services available to the residents of Ulster County.
Pictured Above 1) County Executive Hein speaking to the students at Saugerties High School; 2) Participants from Saugerties High School; and 3) Participants from Ellenville High School.