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Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: A survivor’s message

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and a teen and a nonprofit are making sure people know what to look out for.

NAMPA, Idaho — February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and a local teen is on a mission to let people know cases happen here in Idaho.

"It didn't feel good at all. I didn't feel good at all, I just didn't know how to stop it," high school student and survivor Allie Mager said.

Allie said her story does not get easier for her, but she said it is important for her to share.

"One day he just came up to me and started hitting me and stuff and then he would threaten me if I were to tell anyone,“ Allie Mager said.

Allie said the relationship didn't start this way, but after a couple of months into the relationship, the abuse started. It got to the point where Allie’s school and her mom, Nichole Mager had to step in.

"It wasn't so much her coming to me. I got a call from the school about a situation at the school and that's how I found out,” Nichole Mager said.

Nichole Mager said when she learned about her daughter’s situation, it was her priority to protect her and be there for her.

"That it wasn't her fault. She did nothing wrong. This was a choice he made. It was going to be okay, and we were going through this together. She was like okay, and she told me everything,” Nichole Mager said.

According to the CDC, teen dating violence includes physical and sexual violence, psychological abuse, and stalking. Allie Mager said these are the signs she didn’t see right away.

"Me and my friends were talking about how they were being mistreated and stuff and I was like oh wait that is happening to me,” Allie Mager said.

According to the Nampa Family Justice Center, nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States report being victims of abuse and violence. In Idaho, the center said cases remain high.

Nampa Family Justice Center’s Case Manager Caylee Lewis said, “technology has a big piece in it. A lot of the kids that we've seen come through here, have been victimized in some way over technology."

As we enter the month of love, the Nampa Family Justice Center wants to spread awareness about the prevalence of this issue.

"February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and it's a time to start having conversations about what it is, what it's about and what are the ways we can prevent it,” Lewis said.

Lewis said her main tip for parents is to have a conversation and model what a good relationship looks like.

"If kids haven't seen a healthy relationship be modeled, they don't know what a red flag is and what is not. So have those conversations. Talking about consent, talking about accountability, and talking about what to look for and what is a healthy boundary,” Lewis said.

According to Allie, she is still dealing with stalking issues, but she said she is working with Nampa Justice Center for help, and now shares her message with others who are dealing with this.

"You don't know what anyone is capable of. Watch out for the little things,” Allie Mager said.

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