Workshop to address dating safety

January 28, 2001|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DATING SAFETY will be the subject of a free, two-evening workshop Feb. 6 and 8 at Brooklyn Park Middle School on Hammonds Lane, sponsored by the school's guidance office and the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

School guidance counselor Rebecca Mitch said dating safety is not a new issue: "It isn't that there wasn't a need years ago, but just that this subject couldn't be addressed. It just wasn't socially acceptable to discuss issues like date rape and dating safety 20 years ago."

The first session will address communication skills, how to identify unhealthy relationships and "date rape" drugs. In the second, tae kwon do instructor David France will teach basic self-defense techniques for females. Both sessions will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Mitch said the focus will be on helping mothers and daughters become aware of telltale signs of violence. "An example would be if someone would insist on telling you what to wear, who you could be friends with or who you should like, and how arguments can intensify," she said.

Although the program is designed for middle school pupils, the information will be relevant to females of all ages and backgrounds. "It doesn't matter what age someone is. All the signs are the same for middle school, high school and college ages," Mitch said.

"Middle school students are just starting to date and are susceptible. First of all, they usually don't know what a relationship is and often they find themselves in an unhealthy relationship and they don't know how to get out of it," Mitch said.

"This is a communitywide issue," Mitch said. "Students model themselves on the adults in the community, and if they see that violent behavior is accepted, they will learn to accept it as well."

The sessions are open to the public. Reservations: school guidance office, 410-636-8276.

Self-worth and love

As John Lennon put it, "All you need is love."

For help in discovering how to put these words into practice, take part in a parish mission Feb. 4 through 6 at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church.

The programs will be at 7 p.m. and will be led by the Rev. Joe Breighner, a Baltimore priest, radio show host and author, exploring how to expand the power of love.

"The Spirituality and Psychology of Self Worth" will be discussed the first evening, and focus on how we can learn to love ourselves as people. On Feb. 5, Breighner's discussion, "Self Love and the Love of Others," will deal with how to improve relationships.

The mission will close Feb. 6 with "When Love Doesn't Make Sense."

"We were very surprised when we learned that we could have the mission. Usually you have to book a mission with Father Breighner two years in advance," said church spokesman William Shenton.

St. Athanasius is at 4708 Prudence St. in Curtis Bay.

Information: 410-355-5740.

Nutrition suggestions

The county Health Department's Learn to Live cancer-prevention program will make a stop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Brooklyn Park Metro Food Market at 5755 Ritchie Highway.

Dietitians will answer questions on nutrition and cancer prevention and offer information about healthy foods.

Information: 410-222-7979.

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