Teen voice spreads word on teen domestic violence

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Teen voice spreads word on teen domestic violence

Two Teen Voice peers sit at a welcome table with orange slips of paper prompting guests to think about ways to help survivors.

Two Teen Voice peers sit at a welcome table with orange slips of paper prompting guests to think about ways to help survivors.

Two Teen Voice peers sit at a welcome table with orange slips of paper prompting guests to think about ways to help survivors.

Two Teen Voice peers sit at a welcome table with orange slips of paper prompting guests to think about ways to help survivors.

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On Feb. 27, 2019, members of Teen Voice — a peer education group dedicated to ending dating violence and sexual assault — presented information about teen violence to parents and peers at Ann Arbor’s SafeHouse Center.

Teen Voice representatives welcomed visitors by handing out Pop-Sockets and stickers with houses on them along with orange slips of paper that read, “I will help survivors by….” They held the presentation in honor of Teen Violence Dating Awareness Month.

Teen Voice members used this “Power and Control Wheel” as an interactive activity to explain unhealthy relationships and their roots.

According to a 2015 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three teenagers experience physical, emotional or verbal abuse from an intimate partner before the age of 18.

“It’s horrible that the numbers are so high,” Emma* said. “What’s worse is that a lot of people aren’t aware of it or do not believe that statistic. I know that I cannot change everyone’s mind about it, but if I change one person’s mind, or at least let people know that someone is always there and can help, that can make a major difference and possibly change those numbers.”

The SafeHouse Center is an organization that provides support for people impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault. For those in danger of being hurt they offer many resources including counseling, legal advocacy, emergency shelters, and confidential services for domestic abuse victims. Anyone living or working in Washtenaw County is eligible for their free services.

Members pose for a picture after completing the presentation successfully.

Teen Voice, a group of 15 teenagers, is a program ran by the center. The group educates students in Washtenaw County by giving presentations on consent and healthy relationships in health classes to spread awareness and fight stigma often placed on abuse victims

The presentation explained that 80 percent of parents do not believe teen dating violence is an issue. Welcoming parents into Safe House was a way to come and learn about domestic violence issues.

“I think it is really important that people have more information about consent and what a healthy relationship looks like,” Devon* said. “Unhealthy relationships are really common because a lot of people aren’t even aware of what good and bad ones look like.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out to SafeHouse at (734) 995-5444 or visit their website: safehousecenter.org. If you are in imminent danger please call 911 for immediate assistance.

*No last names are used
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