WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Essex County chapter of the National Council for Jewish Woman (NCJW) was recently honored in West Orange for the organization’s role in helping to raise awareness about abusive relationships among teenagers.

In recognition of February as National Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Month, the West Orange Township Council issued a proclamation acknowledging the need to conduct local programs about what constitutes a healthy relationship and the warning signs of abuse.

Council President Michelle Casalino read the citation as NCJW member Melinda Udell presented some statistics about teen relationships.

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According to Udell—who is involved with the promotion of the Teen Dating Abuse Awareness (TDAA) project in local high schools—one in three dating teenagers experience some form of abuse, whether it’s physical, sexual, emotional or verbal. Females between the ages of 16 and 24 have the highest rate of intimate partner violence, but one in four men will also find themselves in an abusive relationship by the time they are out of their twenties, she added.  

Udell expressed her gratitude to the Township of West Orange for recognizing the TDAA program.

Pictured above are:

Councilman Jerry Guarino, Councilwoman Cindy Matute-Brown. NCJW member Melinda Udell, Councilwoman Susan McCartney, NCJW members Sharon Falkin and Rita Marshall, Council President Michelle Casalino and Councilman Joe Krakoviak.