Prevention of domestic violence needs to start much earlier than one would think. NoSilence NoViolence’s President, Jessica Yaffa spoke in front of five hundred high school students in January about relationships, the red flags of an abusive relationship, and what to do if you find yourself in one. Her speech was so moving and impactful to these teenagers that two hundred of them stayed after her speech was finished to talk with Jessica. They shared their stories of abusive relationships, abuse at home, and how many of them are surviving post abuse and their hopes for the future.
The after-effects of abuse are lifelong and life-changing. We need to empower our teens to seek out healthy relationships and to ensure they understand what a healthy relationship does and does not look like. It’s difficult for teens entering into their first relationship to navigate it without the added tragedy of abuse. They may not recognize it readily and may be hesitant to say anything.
It’s Up to Us
It’s up to parents, friends, and teachers to watch for the signs of an abusive relationship and have the courage to intervene when it’s noticed. A staggering statistic from youth.gov shows that 22% of women and 15% of men ages eleven to seventeen had their first experience with intimate partner violence.
The work we do at NoSilence NoViolence isn’t limited to helping survivors of domestic violence, but to prevention and outreach to teens and adults of all ages. This work is vital to our communities and to our children. Unfortunately, even at the high school level, some have already experienced an abusive relationship whether firsthand or at home.
Providing outreach to middle school pre-teens as they are beginning to look for potential relationships has the potential to save many from experiencing domestic violence.
The donations made to our organization directly affect the amount of outreach we are able to provide throughout the year and as you can see, it has a large impact. We thank all of our volunteers for the countless hours they put in to help our clients and a heartfelt thank you to all of our donors who continue to help us reach those that are most vulnerable to help stop domestic violence before it starts.
Youth.gov. Prevalence of Teen Dating Violence. https://youth.gov/youth-topics/prevalence-teen-dating-violence