One out of every four high school students will experience some kind of violence in a relationship before they turn 18. This could be physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, or more than one, but regardless – these statistics are scary to think about. Sometimes, teenagers aren’t even aware that what they’re experiencing is toxic or abusive – or, even if they do, know what to do about it. This makes it critically important to always be having conversations with the teenagers in our lives about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and what the differences in the two can look like, and where they can go for help if they need it.
One of our favorite resources to recommend to anyone who wants to help support a teenager is loveisrespect.org, an organization that specializes in teen dating relationships, has endless quizzes and useful articles, and even has both a crisis line and a textline. It’s a wonderful resource regardless of where a teen is in their dating decisions.
To try and reach more teenagers in our community this February, Hopeline developed interactive posters about healthy relationships for area high schools. Students themselves write green flags (healthy relationship traits) on one side, and red flags (unhealthy/abusive relationship traits) on the other. Most of the posters have been hung up near a counselor’s office, that way in case there are any questions or a student would like more resources, they can ask their school counselor then and there.
Of course, Hopeline always offers programming through our Prevention Educator, so if you are connected with a school or educational group and would like an in-depth session, please give us a call at 252-338-5338 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org