Gwen’s Girls to host anti-violence event at New Hazlett

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By Justin Criado

Local non-profit Gwen’s Girls will present Teen Dating: Keys to Healthy Relationships at the New Hazlett Theater in Allegheny Center on Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

The teen dating awareness program will include the Prime Stage Theatre Company production of You Belong to Me followed by a town hall meeting discussion with local experts in the field of domestic violence.

“Our ultimate goal is to educate our girls and give them experiences to thrive. Unfortunately, we are very familiar with teen dating violence,” Executive Director Dr. Kathi Elliott said in a statement. “Last year, we suffered a great loss of one our girls to domestic violence. The tragedy has had a tremendous impact on the entire organization. We hope that through this program and similar ones in the future, we will continue to empower the girls to make healthy choices for themselves.”
Teen Dating: Keys to Healthy Relationships is a partnership between Gwens Girl’s and several local organizations dedicated to creating awareness around teen dating violence.

You Belong To Me is an original script written by Debbie Lamedman and Gary Shaw. The play is a blend of the first-hand testimony from Ms. Jodi Cuccia, whose daughter was the victim of dating violence and a creative theatrical experience.

Brittny McGraw, WPXI Weekend Morning Anchor/Reporter, will moderate the discussion following the play with experts from Centers for Victims, Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater of Pittsburgh and Women Against Abusive Relationships (WAAR).

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