The Way Out Recovery Rehab Santa Clarita Raising Awareness About Teen Dating Violence

The Way Out Recovery Rehab Santa Clarita is working to raise awareness about unhealthy versus healthy relationships during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month this February.

The program director at The Way Out Recovery Santa Clarita Rehab, Bob Sharits, talked about the subject with Nila Karimzai of the Child & Family Center’s Domestic Violence Program on a recent “The Way Out Recovery Hour” on KHTS.

“We have a lot of crossover in substance use and in other issues such as domestic violence, so a lot of our participants and the people that I’ve worked with over the years have either been in unhealthy relationships, violent relationships, have experience in that, have grown up in violent households,” said Sharits. “So I am well aware of the severity of this problem, but I don’t think a lot of people are.”

The center’s Domestic Violence Program focuses on helping combat teen dating violence by offering “In Touch with Teen” presentations from the evidence-based, 11-unit curriculum by the nonprofit Peace Over Violence.

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“What we like to talk about is the six ‘C’s in helping build relationships, so that is communication, proper communication, how to compromise, compatibility, commitment, consideration and of course conduct, because the golden rule is to treat others how you want to be treated,” said Karimzai.

Children who grow up watching an abusive relationship in their family or are abused themselves and don’t work through the trauma surrounding that in therapy often later end up in abusive romantic relationships as well, according to Sharits.

“Even though nobody would ever say, ‘I want to be in a relationship like that,’ because I grew up in a home where I’m that person, I will gravitate towards … people who are going to be abusive to me,” Sharits said. “And so part of the work that (the Domestic Violence Program) gets to do is to get people to recognize that and to break away from that.”