Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Is TDV Everywhere and Still No One Is Talking About It?

Yesterday I went to a new place to work out.  The place was beautiful, clean, and very inviting.  Needless to say, I got my “seat” kicked.  But that is beside the point.  While I was in the waiting area, one of the employees asked me what I did for a living.  I told her that I was a speaker and advocate for Teen Dating Violence and Healthy Relationships.  She said, “Oh my God, you need to go to the schools on the _________!”  She proceeded to tell me about all the people she knows from there that are in abusive relationships.  She even said that she got out of an abusive relationship.  Then she corrected herself and said, “maybe not abusive but he was just crazy!”  She was nineteen.  Others in the waiting room nodded in agreement and still others shook their heads in disbelief. 

Everywhere I go this type of interaction happens.  Someone tells me that they are in or just got out of an abusive relationship.  Or I get told that lots of people they know are in abusive relationships.  I hate to say it but I see more and more, this becoming the norm.  Kids are in junior high and high school.  Those kids date.  Those kids are in relationships that experience dating violence.  Why is this?

Why is this happening everywhere?  Is it because Teen Dating Violence isn’t promoted or discussed as much as Domestic Violence?  Is it because Domestic Violence awareness is just now finding its way into the light and being discussed by our society?  Is Teen Dating Violence just as in the dark and a secret as Domestic Violence awareness and education is struggling not to be?   I do not believe there is an easy answer to these questions.  What I do know is that I run into it every day.  The people that I meet are eager to talk about it and want to learn how to see the signs and prevent teens from being victims.  Well, I am just as eager to talk about it and education anyone and everything that will listen. 

We need to instill in our teens, self-worth and value.  We need to have them understand that they are in control of the choices they make for their futures.  But they cannot make positive and sound choices without first gathering all the necessary information.  Help me help you help them gain the knowledge to make educated decisions about their romantic relationships.  So the next time I go out I hear, “Teen Dating Violence, I know the signs and will not let it happen to me or someone I love.” 

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