FEBRUARY is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month! Interestingly, this is a month that I resist associating with violence of any kind, yet realistically I can identify with much violence as it is also Black History Month, as much violence has and does exist to this day. Yes, in the month that we traditionally also identify with Valentine’s Day. This is a month when we direct our thoughts and express loving actions, to that of holding hands while walking in the park with who appears to be the one, we love. ️Love is an action word, it is year-round, starting from the inside out!”
So often appearances are not at all what they seem to be; this is why we should never assume. Nationwide, research reveals that youth ages 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault. Studies also reveal that 10% are reported victims of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Abuse comes in many forms and so often begins verbally and may lead to physical when the involvement is so unhealthy that the victim relinquishes power of personal choice to someone outside of self. Some youth grow up in environments unfamiliar with true love, and all of their relationship demonstrations were false evidence appearing real. This conditioned picture of unhealthy relationships led them to be conditioned to think that this is the way relationships should be totally contrary to the truth. It seems that youth will gravitate to and/or attract others who believe these actions of verbal and physical abuse to be the norm.
Abuse literally is the absence of “normal.” Check it out: Abnormal use minus “normal” with what is left, combined equals “Abuse.” Love is an action word that is not verbally or physically painful in a violent way. Violence is equivalent to the abnormal use, in this view, of another human being called youth. We aspire to be watch persons on the wall, aimed at educating our youth to change the way they think that leads to changed behavior that leads to healthy results. I will conclude this impartation on the note that, LOVE is an action word that is affectionate, patient, kind, gentle, sweet, considerate, pleasant, humble and rejoices in the truth of freedom of choice and has respect for the rights of others. In this heartfelt month of February, let us be vigilant and strive to educate youth to the acts of love that are never violent!
Awareness and Violence Prevention; educate one youth at a time! I invite all youth in Bladen County to enroll in the Anchors Up! program. This dynamic program offers the opportunity to learn identify and maintain healthy relationships in many areas of life whether it is parent to child, peer to peer, employer to employee, or romantic partnerships www.fo2w.org.
Nancy L. Blue
Coordinator of School, Community & Faith-based Engagement