Clare Gratz, 16, a Connections Academy junior, volunteered because “I think it’s very important that we educate teens on healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.”
BHS junior Jenny Doehrman, 16, admits, “I love participating in groups that support excellent ideas, and I find it to be an amazing opportunity to be able to have fun while spreading the awareness against teen dating violence.”
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and council members have been involved in many activities.
“Layne Kirchoff and I worked with Samantha Santen on a teen dating violence presentation for the sophomores at BHS,” notes BHS junior Erin Longstreth, 16.
Members set up tables during school lunches, Doehrman announces. “We had students write down their idea of love. Along with that, we also created a wooden heart where we put ideas of healthy relationships on one side and unhealthy relationships on the other side.”
BHS junior Elizabeth Cuttle, 16, adds, “On Feb. 15, our council teamed up with the Columbus council called Teens for Change. Together, we set up the Columbus HeART show, which fused artwork with spreading awareness about domestic violence.”
In addition, “We created ... posters that provide hotline numbers, awareness slogans and additional resources,” Kirchoff reports. They were hung up around the community, BHS, Oldenburg Academy and Greensburg High School .... We also plan on hosting a teen movie night” at the Community Church of Batesville, 103 E. George St. Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. The theme of the movie “Safe Haven” is domestic violence.
In March, “we will be attending a dance marathon fundraiser at Columbus East High School for its domestic violence organization. We will have a booth there, and we’ll be able to promote healthy teen relationships through our council,” she says.
Cuttle points out, “Once the cycle of abuse sets in, it is very difficult to break the cycle .... It’s crucial to talk with my peers about this issue because now is the age at which people need to be cognizant about their roles in relationships, before abusive habits form.”