Help available for teenagers who are in a tough situation

On Jan. 28 the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This is an important acknowledgment of a situation that deserves the community’s full attention.

It has never been more difficult to be a teenager on the dating scene. The very means of communication that help teenagers build and maintain friendships, such as texting, Facebook and My Space, can quickly go wrong and become sources of cyber bullying, harassment or even stalking. When drugs or alcohol are involved, date rape may become a consequence.

180 Turning Lives Around is a Monmouth County nonprofit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence with programs and services that help teenagers avoid dating violence or deal with its consequences.

A statewide service offered by 180 is the 2NDFLOOR, a toll-free help line that assists young people ages 10 through 24 with anything on their minds, any day of the year, any time of the day or night. The Internet website has information and message boards for young people to share their concerns.

Further, 180 Turning Lives Around provides support groups for teenagers who have been the victims of sexual violence or dating abuse.

We ask that readers clip and save the following contact information so that throughout February they can look for opportunities to provide this information to teenagers who could benefit from it:

• 2NDFLOOR Youth Helpline toll-free number: 888-222-2228.

• 2NDFLOOR Internet website:

• 180 Turning Lives Around Domestic Violence hotline: 888-843-9262.

• 180 Turning Lives Around Sexual Assault hotline: 888-264-RAPE (7273).

Thank you for joining us in recognizing National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around Inc.