Today marks the first day of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM). This is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen relationships. Emiliano, a man whose life looks remarkably different today than it did almost 20 years ago, wrote this article at age 18. He was in numerous unhealthy, abusive relationships (he was the abusive partner). He ended up getting help through an Expect Respect Men’s Group and today calls himself a “father, husband, activist, ally, and men’s non-violence educator.” Follow him on twitter at@ChicanoDad.
When 1 in 3 U.S. teens are the victims of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a boyfriend or girlfriend, and 81% of parents believe dating violence is NOT an issue for their teens we know there is work to do.
SafePlace’s Expect Respect Program engages youth, parents, schools and communities in building healthy teen relationships and preventing dating abuse.
Anyone with a teen in their life has an opportunity to help them recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships – we just have to take the time. The SafePlace Expect Respect website offers tips for parents, resources for educators, ways for youth to get involved and so much more.
And don’t miss the Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble (a collaboration between Expect Respect and Creative Action) 2013 tour kick-off. Changing Lives is performing Above the Noise, a show about media and pop culture’s confusing messages and how to navigate them, stay true to one’s self and make relationships work. This show, written and performed by teens for teens, is at Travis High School from 6:30 – 7:30pm on Thursday, February 7th.