XENIA — Family Violence Prevention Center’s Youth Advisory Board will virtually host Walk a Mile in their Shoes Saturday, Feb. 27 in recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
FVPC’s team of high school students recently came together to plan the event and spread this message: “Teen dating violence can happen to anyone.”
“‘Walk a Mile in their Shoes’ asks young men and women to literally walk one mile in another person’s shoes whether it be boots or high-heeled shoes!,” a FVPC spokesperson said in a release. “It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but it is a light-hearted and creative way to get the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to discuss: gender relations and sexual violence.”
The virtual event lasts all day. Registration closes 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27. Participants can register at fvpcwalkamile2021.eventbrite.com. Throughout all of February, FVPC’s social media sites will concentrate on teen dating information. Find them on Facebook (@FVPCteens) and Instagram (@fvpc1979).
“FVPC strongly encourages families and adults in the community to discuss dating relationships openly. Spend this mile walking with a teen in your life. Share about your own experiences and check in on how they are doing,” the release said. “Abuse’s strongest ally is silence. If you need guidance with how to get the conversation started, please visit www.teendvmonth.org, www.cdc.gov, www.breakthecycle.org and www.loveisrespect.org. To experience what digital dating abuse looks and feels like, try the free ‘Love is Not Abuse’ app on your iPhone.”
FVPC also works with Greene County’s middle and high schools for multiple days of evidenced-based Safe Dates curriculum. The center’s prevention educator works to help teenagers understand what healthy dating looks like, including what to do if he or she is involved in a hurtful or controlling relationship.
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, FVPC officials said. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from a dating partner before they become adults, according to www.loveisrespect.org.
“Whether physical or emotional, dating violence can leave scars that last a lifetime,” the release continued. “Teens who suffer abuse at the hands of a partner are more likely to struggle in school, develop depression, or turn to drugs or alcohol. Victims are also at greater risk of experiencing the same patterns of violence later in life.”
For questions about the event, contact FVPC at 937-376-8526 and ask for someone on the Prevention Team.