OSSEO, Minn. (WCCO) — Studies show about one in four teenagers will experience some type of abuse in a dating relationship. Now, a local singer is doing something about it.

Shanell McCoy wrote a song specifically for a national campaign targeting dating violence, which doesn’t have to be physical. “Breathe” is about a person in an unhealthy relationship.

“I wanted that to be portrayed as something people could look at and learn from,” said the 18-year-old McCoy.

The senior at Osseo Senior High School is one of seven youth artists in the United States picked as finalists for Pave The Way Project, sponsored by Verizon Wireless.

“I think what is unique about this project is we have youth, 13 to 20 year olds writing songs to let teens know they’re not alone,” said Karen Smith, a spokesperson for Verizon Wireless.

At the Pave The Way Project web site, young people can learn how to recognize emotionally and physically abusive relationships as well as ways to help. Songs from each finalist in the contest are available for download at the website. Voting began Tuesday.


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