A 13-year-old Oyster Bay girl is has joined the crusade against teenage dating violence nationwide by recording a song for a compilation album that aims to raise awareness of the issue.
Charlie Dane, an eighth grader at Oyster Bay High School, was among seven young budding artists handpicked by MTE talent agency to take part in the PAVE the Way Project — PAVE being short for Preventing Abuse and Violence through Education.
Starting Tuesday, fans can log on to the Pave the Way website to vote on their favorite track through June 12. The winning artist will get a chance to record a song with legendary guitarist Carlos Santana in a collaboration with his son, Salvador Santana.
“It’s as common as bullying is in school,” Dane told the Press. She recorded her song about abusive teen relationships to create the single “Prisoner,” specifically for the cause.
“Unless the teen tells the parent, it’s hard for the parent to know because they’re not with the couple the whole time,” Dane said. Her mother agreed that some teens are reluctant to tell parents who may not want their teen dating in the first place.
In one year, nearly one in 10 high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.
Verizon Wireless teamed up with MTE and Cornerstone, a Minnesota-based domestic violence agency, to launch the Pave the Way campaign, which promotes healthy relationships and empowers teens to take a stand against dating violence.
Dane, who started playing guitar at age five, has performed at more than 100 local venues and festivals over the past two years. She spent her past six summers at the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. For more information on Charlie Dane, check out her website.
For more information about preventing teen dating violence, log on to That’sNotCool.com, a national public education campaign that also raises awareness about and prevent teen dating abuse, or call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474.
Teens can also text “loveis” to 77054 to reach an advocate or chat online by clicking on the icon found on loveisrespect.org
-With Danielle Fassman