If you have ever considered whether or not you are in an abusive relationship, the answer is likely yes. Despite feelings of loneliness and lack of self-worth, victims of abuse are not alone and have a community that is concerned for them.
According to the Tween and Teen Dating Abuse Study conducted in 2008, 62 percent of tweens (age 11-14) know someone who has been verbally abused by their partner. In 2008, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency reported that one in three adolescents have experienced verbal, sexual, emotional and/or physical abuse by their significant other. If you have not suffered this injustice, then it is likely someone you know probably has.
Family Planning of South Central New York has had over 3,000 requests by middle and high school students to offer educational programs on healthy relationships. In response to the personal interest and startling frequency of relational cruelty among youth, Family Planning is encouraging teens to take the “Candy Heart Pledge” during the month of February – Teen Dating Violence Awareness month.
By visiting www.fpscny.org/candyheartpledge, teens can print out a heart and write inside what they will do to spread awareness and confront Teen Dating Violence. By tweeting their heart @fam_plan with #tdvcandyhearts, teens can reach out to victims and become eligible for a $20 Amazon gift card as awarded to those with the strongest design and message.
Victims can also go to a Family Planning in their area for support. Those who have experienced abuse can have a voice and a family to take care of them. Employees of this organization and the community of SUNY Oneonta hope to encourage and inspire healthy relationships.