Moultrie Observer

Local News

September 6, 2006

Group tries to educate youth about violence in relationships

MOULTRIE — “Jennifer Ann Crecente was a high school honors student that was murdered by an ex-boyfriend on February 15, 2006. Our group will keep Jennifer Crecente’s memory alive through education and good works,” states the Web site for a memorial group that was organized in her name.

Drew Crecente, Jennifer’s father, is the driving force behind Jennifer Ann’s Group, an organization whose mission is to “educate, inform and then direct” teens, who may be victims of violence, to already existing organizations that can help them.

“One recent national survey found that 1 in 11 high-school students said they had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year,” according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center Web site at www.safeyouth.org.

Crecente said that he would like this organization to be a gateway or conduit for teens through the group’s Web site.

“We want to give them information they need to identify the warning signs and give them information on who they can get help from. There are a lot of warning signs and we need to get them out there,” said Crecente.

He said that he had never realized how common relationship violence was at such a young age until the death of his daughter.

Jennifer Ann’s Group is in the process of receiving non-profit status and after that comes together, Crecente wants to actively pursue fund-raising for the group. The chief fundraiser, at this point, will be selling black bracelets with pewter charms attached to them with the organization’s logo. The Texas Psychological Foundation has given Crecente permission to sell them at its annual convention. He also hopes to be able to sell them on the internet on the group’s Web site.

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