BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) held a recognition ceremony June 11 at Jackson Park Youth and Teen Center in Bremerton, Wash., for four teenagers who each created a poster design for a teen dating violence awareness poster contest.
Friends, family members and guest speaker, Cmdr. James Travers, NBK's executive officer, gathered to show their support for Gemelin Lozada and Ginelle Ramos from Central Kitsap Junior High School and Brooke Hatcher and Britteny Hatcher from Marcus Whitman Jr. High School.
"Back in February 2010, the teens and FFSC did a teen dating violence awareness workshop. The teens learned about the warning signs seen in abusive relationships," said Lezlie Agtonton, teen program coordinator.
According to Agtonton, the goal of the workshop was to give the teenagers the skills and knowledge to know what to do if they or their friends were in an abusive situation.
"The teens did a poster contest with FFSC to express what they thought teen dating violence would look like through their eyes," said Agtonton. "They are at that stage where they're testing out dating and are experiencing a lot of different dating situations. What if they come in contact with someone who is physically, emotionally or sexually abusive? We're here to provide a positive place and to acknowledge that this is a serious issue and to make them aware."
One of the poster contestants, Britteny Hatcher, said she thought it would be a good idea to make others aware, and it'd be an opportunity for her to use her creative skills.
"We were talking about domestic violence one evening and about creating a poster," said Britteny Hatcher. "I thought it would be a really fun idea to do this not only to get the word out, but because I like to draw a lot. What I would say to anyone is to be careful who you choose to associate with and to be aware of their surroundings."
The Navy offers support much in the same way the civilian community does with avenues aimed at guiding youth from violence, by way of providing awareness.
"I love to see the Navy promoting stuff like this," said Machinist Mate 1st Class David Hatcher, Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor. "In the civilian sector, you have various outlets which sponsor different clubs and programs to steer youth away from violence. My daughters are here a lot because it is a great place for them to interact with other teens. This shows that the Navy is interested not only in their Sailors, but also in their families and children."
For more news from Naval Base Kitsap, visit www.navy.mil/local/kitsap/.