JBAB raises awareness of teen dating violence during month-long campaign

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
Story by Scott Pauley

Date: 02.15.2017
Posted: 02.16.2017 15:59
News ID: 223850
JBAB raises awareness of teen dating violence during month-long campaign

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling is spreading awareness for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month throughout the month of February.

A group of teens partnered with the Youth Center and Family Advocacy for a basketball game, and JBAB vice commander, Air Force Col. Wayne Blanchette, gave a speech to the group about how to recognize signs of domestic abuse in a relationship and what to do to help.

“The goal of the month is to put an end to dating violence, and to help foster an environment for healthy relationships,” said Ginel Kennedy, domestic abuse victim advocate for JBAB. “It’s important for our teens to learn how to speak up and help someone when they are the victim of domestic abuse.”

The group decorated boxes with cards that described both good and bad traits in a relationship, and then displayed those boxes in the Youth Center to raise more awareness about the cause.

According to the Center for Decease Control, dating violence is not about love. It is about power and control, and dating violence involves a pattern of behaviors that one partner uses to try to control the other that may include physical and sexual violence, and emotional abuse.

For the teens involved in the month-long campaign, spreading the information is the best way to create a better future, said Kennedy.

“I think the best part is the ability to create knowledge of the issue,” she said. “The important part is to get out and get into the age groups that need it. The teens are our future. So it’s more important to help them discover what a healthy relationship looks like so they can shape the culture of our society as we move forward.”

According to loveisrespect.org, Approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner, and three in four parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence.

“It’s important to discuss what a healthy relationship is with your children,” said Kennedy. “Only 33 percent of teens who are in a violent relationship ever tell anyone about the abuse. That means it’s up to us to notice the signs and step-up and speak out to end the violence.”