Safe + Sound Blog

Press Release: #AskAva Podcast to Answer Questions about Teen Dating Abuse

Hillsborough, NJ (February 6, 2020) – In recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month during February, Safe+Sound Somerset is launching the #AskAva podcast today. The #AskAva series, developed by teens in our SPEAK Teen Leadership Camps, is designed to connect with and educate youth about teen dating abuse and healthy relationships.

S+SS Executive Director, Michele Boronkas commented, “With 1 in 3 teens experiencing dating abuse before high school graduation, we need to do everything we can to give teens and those who care about them information and resources they need to eliminate this issue. The questions being addressed reflect real concerns of teens asking for help in dealing with a tough issue in their lives. ”

Each week, a trained staff member will provide an in-depth look into a topic related to healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships. This week’s two-part question will be, “How do I help my friend in an abusive relationship? Is it my right to tell them that their relationship seems abusive?” The link to the podcast and the answer can be found at Listen alone, with a family member or trusted adult, or friend to get answers, gain more information, and learn about resources for teens.

The questions included in the #AskAva series come directly from teens participating in Safe+Sound Somerset’s SPEAK Outreach and Education Program. In 2019, S+SS’s SPEAK provided 2,300 students in 89 high school and middle school classrooms in Somerset County with education on issues related to teen dating violence. In addition to classroom programs, SPEAK provides outreach and education to community groups and businesses in the community, trainings for professionals, and offers teen leadership camps during the summer.

Also this month, S+SS is hosting the 2nd annual SPEAK Teen Leadership Conference: I Got the Power! on Saturday, February 22nd from 10am to 2pm at Raritan Valley Community College Conference Center.  The free conference, made possible by the support of The Provident Bank Foundation and Raritan Valley Community College, is open to high school students interested in expanding their strengths and owning their inner power to create healthy relationship and build communities where safety and respect flourish. For more information or to register, go to

Safe+Sound Somerset is the only private, non-profit agency in Somerset County providing comprehensive services to survivors of domestic abuse and their families. Established in 1978, our trauma-informed, evidence based programs are designed to support and empower survivors while working towards ending intimate partner violence and domestic abuse once and for all.