You might have noticed these vibrant orange ribbons dangling from the trees along Weaverville’s Main Street. These ribbons were hung by youth from Human Response Network’s Prevention Squad and members of PATH for Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience dating violence from a dating partner. Dating violence is physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or digital abuse from a romantic or sexual partner. It happens to men and women of all age groups, heterosexual and same-sex relationships, races, ethnicities, incomes and education levels.
Since its inception in 2010, the mission of Prevention Squad has been to help create an educated community that works together to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and sexual assault. Prevention Squad is a youth-led coalition that meets once a week at Trinity High School to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising ways to mitigate dating violence and organize events to rally community members about important issues.
If you are interested in supporting healthy teen relationships you can help by learning the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and modeling healthy behaviors for the youth in your lives. Learn more about healthy teen relationships at https://www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships/.
For more information about getting involved in Prevention Squad or becoming an adult ally to the group, you can email Melissa Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Human Response Network at (530) 623-2024. For 24 hour crisis counseling for domestic violence, sexual assault, or dating abuse, call Human Response Network’s 24 hour crisis line at 530-623-HELP.