Editorial: It can happen here

Whether it is as obvious as a black eye or as subtle as a slight about someone’s appearance, abuse in teen relationships is real and probably more common than we think.

Things may start out relatively benignly — teasing, name calling or even a pinch — but they can escalate to controlling behaviors and physical abuse. The abuse can take many forms. It may occur in person or electronically. It can involve stalking.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a nationwide survey showed 9.4% of high school students reported being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s not something easy to “get over.” Just as healthy relationships have a positive effect on a teenager’s emotional development, unhealthy relationships can have a damaging effect on teens as they grow into adulthood.

Happily, a group of teens in Wilton is trying to lessen the chances of their peers falling victim to an abusive partner. Wilton Teen PeaceWorks will present The Yellow Dress, a story of teen romance that ends in tragedy. It has been described as a powerful presentation, and the story no doubt gets its strength from being told by a young woman who could be anyone’s teenage daughter.

The club members are purposely having this production at Wilton Library to make it available to the community at large. Please validate their efforts and at the same time do yourself a favor and drop in Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 for an hour or so that may make more of a difference in your life than you know.