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Nessman earns essay honors

The White Earth Dove (Down on Violence Everyday) Program has named Adrianna Nessman the local winner of a Teen Essay Contest sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and Verizon Wireless to increase the awareness of the prevalence of teen dating violence throughout Minnesota and to promote healthy dating relationships.

A number of teens were challenged to participate in the essay contest. The topic of the essay was, "How do you know when you're in a Healthy Dating Relationship?" Sixteen MCWB member programs throughout Minnesota chose the local essay winners and those winning essays were entered into a statewide contest.

Nessman stated in her essay, "I know that getting hit isn't love. I have lost a friend or two by giving my opinion, but I also gained respect from other friends for standing up for what is right."

Nessman received a $50 gift card and Dove received a $250 grant towards teen dating awareness initiatives for this area.

Second place in the local area was Rachel Fineday of Park Rapids High School.

The essay contest has given hundreds of teens the opportunity to speak out against teen dating violence and create awareness in our community.

Teen dating violence is an extremely prevalent issue for thousands of teens throughout Minnesota and drastically affects local communities and families. The statistics are staggering. According to the Center for Disease Control and the Chose Respect Campaign:

n 1 in 11 teens report of being a victim of physical dating abuse each year.

n 1 in 5 high schools girls have been physically/sexually abuse by dating partner.

n 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who had been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, strangled or otherwise physically hurt by his/her partner.

For more information on Teen Dating Violence or any other topics, contact the White Earth Dove Program at 218-935-5554 or the 24-hour crises line at 1-800-543-0629. All services are free and confidential.