Cameron County High School, Dickinson Center, Inc. host dating violence assembly

Pictured are Dr. Gary Cuccia (Assembly Speaker) and Missy Orner (DCI)

Pictured are Dr. Gary Cuccia (Assembly Speaker) and Missy Orner (DCI)

Renowned speaker helps shine a light on topic

Emporium—A startling statistic highlighted the severity and prevalence of the issue of dating violence during a recent assembly at the Cameron County Junior/Senior High School.

The fact, that one-in-three teens experience some form of dating abuse, was a central theme of Dr. Gary Cuccia’s message during the assembly hosted in conjunction with CCHS and Dickinson Center, Inc. before the school’s entire student body.

Cuccia’s presentation on the topic conveyed a powerful personal connection, as he shared his story about the loss of his daughter, Demi Brae, to dating violence. Demi was stabbed to death at the age of 16 following a breakup with her boyfriend.

In an effort to help educate and promote awareness of teen dating violence, Cuccia has traveled the county and appeared on national television speaking on his late daughter’s behalf. He has interviewed with Matt Lauer on the Today show, while Dr. Phil also featured Demi’s story on his eponymous show. 

According to Dr. Cuccia, women between the ages of 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of dating violence. Some of the warning signs of an abusive partner include: surveillance of one’s phone or e-mail without permission, extreme jealousy or insecurity, explosive temper or mood swings, false accusations, isolation from family or friends, physical abuse, possessiveness, and controlling behavior.

For more information on dating violence, call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or visit their website at www.loveisrespect.org.  Additional information is also available at www.breakthecycle.org

To read more on Demi’s story, visit www.demibrae.org, call 724-668-7742 or visit Demi Brae on Facebook. For more on services available through Dickinson, visit www.dickinsoncenter.org.