For the month of February, Women In Distress Education and Prevention Team coordinated events and facilitated lessons around teen dating violence and healthy relationships with parents, participants and teens throughout Broward County.
With the support of donors and supporters like you, Education and Prevention Specialists helped nearly 1,400 students in 68 classrooms talk about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Using the “Imagine…A World Where Love Doesn’t Hurt” program for middle school students, and the B.O.L.D. (Building Opportunities to Love with Dignity) for high school students, young people were able to discuss such relationship red flags as gender stereotypes, boundaries, consent, and sexual assault. Through role play and other teaching techniques, students also learned about warning signs, how to help a friend who may be in an unhealthy relationship, why victims stay, and social change. In addition to receiving a broad overview of the teen dating violence epidemic, participants also gained knowledge to help themselves or friends who may find themselves in a compromising situation.
Although February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, Prevention Specialists work with participants and teens throughout the year. At the end of these sessions it’s not uncommon for teens to say things like:
- “I now know what a healthy relationship looks like, and it has improved who I am as an individual.”
- “I learned how to watch out for red flags and that I am not alone if this happens to me.”
- “As a result of this class, I got help and left my boyfriend who was verbally and emotionally abusive to me.”
- “I now understand that there are many reasons why a victim will stay in an abusive relationship.”
Of course, teen dating violence awareness would not be complete without awareness for parents. Our ‘Parent Round-table” helped parents understand how to talk to their teens about tough topics like consent, dating violence, and boundaries. Parents also helped other parents with stories of how they talked to their teens about dating violence.
Though Teen Dating Violence Month ended in February, Women In Distress prevention work continues year round. Prevention Specialists will visit more classrooms and facilitate more dating violence awareness discussions in the months to come.
Your support helps us to continue providing services to teens, parents, and participants with programs such as educational programming in schools and the community, safe emergency shelter a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, counseling and therapeutic hours, and more.