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MAYDAY program for youth and dating awareness

The program started up this year to raise awareness with students of the do’s and don’ts of dating relationships.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 7:47 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A local counselor says during the pandemic she’s seen an increase in the amount of people looking for help regarding domestic abuse.

So where can people turn who need help?

“We did see some numbers going up and that’s when people have been at home for a month or two after all the regulations that came out.”

PILLAR counselor Elizabeth Reyna Gardner says that since the summer of 2020 more people from all ages are looking for help.

She thinks one of the major reasons people are coming in for is domestic abuse problems.

“Just the anxiety levels among every age group rised and with people, anyone who had the tendency of being violent just increased because of the situation.”

With cases like 19 year old Gracie Espinoza’s, who some claim may have been a victim of domestic violence, Judge Tano Tijerina says we need to focus on the youth in our community.

“Promote student’s awareness about the dangers of dating and domestic violence, as you all know this is a major part of what’s happening.”

The program is called MAYDAY which is an acronym for Men Against Year Long Domestic Abuse of Our Youth, working together with both UISD and LISD high schools to educate high school kids on healthy relationships.

The program started up this year to raise awareness with students of the do’s and don’ts of dating relationships.

Students can attend and witness virtual court proceedings that involve actual domestic violence cases; a community working together with a vision to prevent young lives and all lives from being taken too soon from domestic violence.

County officials are looking into having participation with this program as an alternative to court assessed community service hours and court fines for juveniles .

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