This is How We End it (Domestic and Sexual Violence) in our Youth
- Compliation of articles for Teen Dating Violence Awarness Month By John Finfrock
- Compiled and Posted by Ashley Wilson
As Rise Above Violence celebrates its 25th year serving Pagosa Springs, we’re asking a lofty question: How do we end domestic violence and sexual assault in Pagosa in the next 25 years?
“It is overwhelming to think about how this can end in 25 years,” said Executive Director Carmen Hubbs on Rise’s quarterly “Coffee Talk” livestream. “And nonetheless — if it does, if it doesn’t — we’re working towards it.”
She continued, “We recognized that it can’t be the nine advocates that are working in the office, it has to be this community. And we know you’re ready, we know you’re primed. And we’re just going to give you the tools. We’re going to give you very specific tools, very specific action steps, that you can take as an individual that everyone can do. Everybody is part of this in just being a community member.”
We believe one strategy in combating this problem is working with the young people of Pagosa Springs. Rise’s Youth Advocates are available to teach free lessons around healthy relationships, internet safety and bullying prevention to 3rd-12th grade students in Pagosa Springs.
Rise Above Violence’s Teen Board of Directors are working hard to spread the word about this issue. The Teen Board offered specific action steps that anyone can do to combat relationship violence in our community.
“We’re really focusing on spreading the word about sexual assault and those red flags in relationships that a lot of people don’t know about,” said Kiera, a senior in high school and a member of the YouthRise Teen Board of Directors.
The Teen Board also placed red garden flags around town parks in the upcoming weeks, with a relationship “red flag” written on each one of them. Some examples of common red flags in relationships include:
“It’s not something talked about very often,” said Charlie, an 8th grader at Pagosa Springs Middle School and a member of the YouthRise Teen Board of Directors. “So it deserves to be stated and talked about because there are a lot of people that don’t know they’re in an abusive relationship. They’re kind of just missing all the signs.”
The Teen Board is also offering what they feel are “green flags,” or indicators of a healthy relationship.
Some “green flag” behaviors are that your partner:
“Some qualities to look for in a partner is that they’re really caring for you, that you do things for each other, that you just genuinely care about one another,” said Charlie, an 8th grader at Pagosa Springs Middle School and a member of the YouthRise Teen Board of Directors.
The YouthRise Teen Board of Directors meets outside of school — both virtually and in-person on Fridays — and are working towards the goal of ending relationship violence in Pagosa Springs. This month, the Teen Board is recording weekly. YouTube videos about Teen Dating Violence, which can be viewed on the Rise Above Violence social media channels. The Teen Board is open to all 7th-12th grade students in Pagosa Springs.
Some statistics around teen dating violence include:
Action step: Acknowledge that domestic violence and sexual assault is a problem in our community.
Rise served just under 400 victims of relationship violence in Pagosa Springs last year.
Action step: Model healthy relationships to those around you.
Action step: Know the red flags and call them out.
The YouthRise Teen Board of Directors meets outside of school — both virtually and in-person on Fridays — and are working towards the goal of ending relationship violence in Pagosa Springs. This month, the Teen Board is recording weekly. YouTube videos about Teen Dating Violence, which can be viewed on the Rise Above Violence social media channels. The Teen Board is open to all 7th - 12th grade students in Pagosa Springs and meets on Fridays.
For more information about YouthRise programs, offered at no cost, contact Cheryl Bowdridge at cheryl@riseaboveviolence or 946-2576; or John Finefrock at email@example.com or 403-5461.
Watch the Youth Rise Videos:
We end domestic and sexual violence by creating a new story for our Youth - they can make the change in how they choose to be in relationships. For Youth that are raised in violent homes, violence prevention education can show them another way to love.
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