The Upsilon Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, will host its third annual “Teen Dating Violence Awareness Walk,” on March 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Prince George’s County, Md.

The walk will commence at the Tucker Road Community Center in Fort Washington, Md. and will end at the Henson Creek Trail.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines teen dating violence as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Nationwide, approximately 1.5 million high school students each year are reported to experience physical abuse in a relationship.

“The walk is not just for teens but also for parents,” said Danaeka Spear, president of the Upsilon Tau Omega Chapter. “In today’s society with our teens being so social media aware, so many things are happening on this platform. Parents need to be educated on what’s going on in their teen’s life and in their home.”

According to Break the Cycle, a national nonprofit organization that works exclusively to provide comprehensive dating abuse programs to young people and adult allies, girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of violence in an intimate relationship.

“Dating violence is not just physical abuse; it is mental, emotional and verbal abuse,” said Marcia Alexander-Adams, a member of the sorority. “Young ladies might not know how to handle situations like this because their parents are not aware of what they are going through.”

The sorority will partner with Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office for the event. Alexander-Adams said those who attend the walk can expect to hear from Sheriff Melvin C. High about the importance of eradicating domestic violence in the community. Information on hotlines, and help centers for domestic violence will also be provided.

The walk was inspired by the organization’s mentoring program, Aspiring Leaders, a leadership development program designed to mentor and teach girls life and leadership skills. This program offers young girls in middle and high school a platform to speak about the hurdles and challenges they go through on an everyday basis. Violent and abusive behaviors in relationships were one of the subjects of concern which emerged from several workshops hosted by the program.

“We don’t just walk, we take a pledge to be socially aware,” said Alexander-Adams.

The walk is free to the general public, and organizations across the county are encouraged to attend as well. Those who attend the walk are asked to donate toiletries or a gift card for donation to local domestic violence programs.

Those interested in attending may register at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-upsilon-tau-omega-aspiring-leaders-teen-dating-violence-awareness-walk-tickets-15964661733?aff=eac2