Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month occurs each February and is nationally recognized as a time to talk about, and take action about the level of dating violence among high school adolescents. In a call‐to‐action, Independence House is asking teens across Cape Cod to think about how they can make a difference and be the positive change in stopping the cycle of violence among their peers by using their creativity and entering their submissions into the 3rd Annual Art Contest where all submissions will be on display at an event on February 15, 2018.
In statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention taken from a teen survey, 1 in 10 teens reported being hit or physically hurt on purpose by their dating partner at least once in the 12 months before they took the survey. LoveisRespect.org reports that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year, and 1 in 3 adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from their dating partner.
“We know that teens today, in general, connect with each other via social media and other artistic methods. This contest is meant to tap into their creativity to help establish dialogues about healthy relationships through methods they are comfortable with which can be shared,” says Chris Morin, Director of Prevention, Education and Outreach at Independence House. “We are challenging students to find inspiration from a pledge titled ‘We are the Change’ and portray their ideas through mediums including, but not limited to drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, poetry or performance pieces”.
“The Art Contest is a positive way to bring awareness to healthy teen relationships,” says Kara Galvin, the Director of Youth Services with the Cape & Islands Workforce Development Board. Youth Services assists students in developing skills for employment through an array of activities including the School to Career Partnership Program and oversees the Youth Council, Leadership Academy, and the ArtWorks Program.
Information about the contest including a copy of the pledge, rules, applications, parent permission slips and how to submit art are available on the Independence House teen website at IHteens.org. Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2018. A celebration of student accomplishments will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Hyannis on February 15, 2018 at 6:00pm and will be open to the public with refreshments, guest speakers and surprises. Contest winners will be announced at the event. For questions, please contact Chris Morin at [email protected] or call 508.771.6507 x230.
Independence House offers counseling, advocacy and assistance for teenagers who question their dating relationships and reaches students across Cape Cod by educating on primary prevention practices that promote safe and healthy relationships by facilitating the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) curriculum in ten Cape Cod high schools. The curriculum includes education on teen abuse, how to spot warning signs, and how to be an active bystander.
Independence House, Inc. is Cape Cod’s leading resource, counseling and advocacy center to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. To learn more about Independence House, visit www.independencehouse.org and the dedicated teen website at www.independencehouseteens.org (or) IHteens.org.