By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – February marks the beginning of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. At IHS, the Alice Paul House plans various activities throughout the month to spread prevention tactics for toxic relationships.
One in three teenagers struggles with unhealthy and abusive relationships. Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, or TDVAM, is a national effort to help people understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Chistina Mathe from the Alice Paul House collaborated with Key Club Executive Board members in order to organize events throughout the month of February. Events include assemblies, chalk the walk, wear orange day, and club bag decorating competition. In addition, t-shirts and bands were distributed to students as well as posters throughout the hallways highlighting different service announcements.
The overall theme for this year is “#1Thing” which is meant to help students each agree to do one thing to help with teen dating violence.
Mathe stated, “This year’s theme, #1Thing, is designed to meet teenagers where they are. It is a challenge to commit to do “one thing” to promote healthy relationships such as, respect boundaries, individuality, privacy, digital privacy, encourage trust, open and honest communication, and calling out unhealthy behaviors.”
“1Thing” is a call to action; Awareness + Action = Social Change. As I have had the privilege to interact with IASH students for 3 years, I am confident this year’s theme will also have an empowering impact!” Mathe concluded.
The chalk the walk event has students write one way that they could make a difference. Senior Nathan Birch said, “One thing I can do to help make a difference for TDVAM is to help my friends if one of them is in an unhealthy relationship and to give him or her some support in such a difficult time.”
TDVAM allows students to feel support and guidance throughout the school. Each poster is a reminder that people don’t have to suffer in silence and can get help.
Junior Kaden Duffee, a Key Club Executive organizer, stated, “I think TDVAM is valuable because it shows students that dating violence is a very real issue that affects real students at IHS. People would be surprised just how many students go through these things and it’s important to let people know that they certainly aren’t alone.”
[Photo by: Adriana Guth-Borowski]
Photo caption: “Junior Alexis Single writes #1Thing she can do for TDVAM during the chalk the walk event.”
Adriana is a junior and has been on the High Arrow staff for three years. Her goal is to bring accurate news and other stories to the readers of the High Arrow.