Intimate partner violence affects people across all sections of society, even young people. The advocates at Safe Homes of Orange County are working to dispel misconceptions that teen dating violence isn't as prevalent or as serious as domestic violence among adults.
That's why the organization put out a call to students from around the county to create art work as a part of a show in Newburgh commemorating teen dating violence month. The local victims and survivors services agency has organized the show for the past four years.
The group works with local schools around the county to help youth learn what dating violence looks like, and how to communicate with partners and parents about dating.
"Unfortulately our culture doesn't really encourage young folks to talk about how they feel," said Safe Homes of Orange County Family Justice Center Director Elizabeth Greenblatt. "So, it can be challenging sometimes for young folks to say, 'I like that' or 'I don't like that' or 'this makes me feel uncomfortable'."
Officials from Safe Homes said by teaching youth about how to date safely and engage in positive relationships, they hope to curb those statistics and empower youth. And, they say displaying the artwork in a public place like 2 Alices in Newburgh teaches youth that their voices are important, and helps educate the community as a whole.