Carol Crossman, top right, shows belief in her program with a tall, proud posture. The SAFE group is working to encourage healthy relationships among teens.

Robert Crossman, Blue Print

Carol Crossman, top right, shows belief in her program with a tall, proud posture. The SAFE group is working to encourage healthy relationships among teens.

SAFE works to solve abuse

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The SAFE group is working to encourage healthy relationships among teens.

To Carol Crossman, coordinator of the SAFE group, abusive dating behavior should never be the norm, but to some teens it is.

"Teens are way too young to have to deal with abuse. Teenagers have enough stress economically and socially that we shouldn't have to worry about abusive relationships. We should be able to keep you all safe, that is the most important responsibility we have. People think it's the norm. We must change that mentality," said Crossman.

Turning a blind eye to abusive situations should never be tolerated especially within high school. SAFE is a program that is meant not only to aid those who are in an abusive relationship, but also to help prevent them.

"I train them on how to know if you are in an abusive relationship or a healthy relationship," said Crossman. "What they learn helps them so they can become aware if a person in a relationship is becoming jealous or possessive and see if there is a potential that the relationship could become abusive."

The group meets at the high school every Thursday at four o'clock in room 101. Crossman says that there is no protocol for what she teaches each week, teaching things such as sexual assault and how to deal with a friend who is an abuser in a relationship.

Crossman first took over the group in January of last year. She said that her main goal was to get into the school health classes and use that as a way to educate students and provide an outlet of help for them. She says the group was very small at first with only a couple members who were determined to help, but as of now, they have 12 to 20 people going to each meeting.

A big part of what helped the group gain recognition was both the mayor and commissioners recognizing February as Craig's teen dating violence and awareness month. From there, Crossman says that it was just a matter of getting into the community and talking to teens and parents.

"These are our kids that are dealing with very adult situations, and the more we can help them the better," said Crossman.

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