New York state officials were in Troy on Wednesday to mark February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
Students from Troy High School sent virtual valentines to classmates in an effort to educate each other about healthy relationships. The valentines were part of a new awareness campaign to educate students about the signs of teen dating abuse, where to get help and how to foster healthy relationships.
Officials want young adults to be able to recognize patterns of abuse early in a relationship.
"You know, when you have a 60-year old woman who has been abused by her partner, that's always domestic violence, and we know that didn't just start yesterday," said Gwen Wright, the executive director of the New York Office for Prevention of Domestic Violence. "And so we want to talk to young people, we want to talk to them as soon as they start getting into relationships, to bring awareness to them about things that are not cool, not OK."
Students were encouraged to share photos on social media to help start the conversation with others.