The answer comes from the February Love is Action presenter, Danielle Armitage. Danielle has worked for a domestic violence shelter as the Outreach Prevention provider for almost 15 years. As an advocate and speaker of early interventions she uses to prevent domestic violence, Danielle emphasizes how speaking of the topic can prevent it. Here's her reason:
With February being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, parents and educators are encouraged to have open conversations about how to decrease the prevalence of violence in our communities as generations of children grow into adulthood. By having informative discussions about abuse, we can build a lasting foundation of healthy behaviors in young children to potentially prevent any sort of physical, sexual, and emotional violence that may lead to abusive relationships later in their lives.
Ninety-five percent of abusive behaviors are preventable with early education services. The more we talk about abuse, identify early warning signs and reject violence as a society, the more confidence we instill in victims to come forward and receive the help they need. The earlier we start teaching valuable coping skills, the sooner children will begin creating real boundaries and expectations of how they should be treated in all their daily interactions. This is not just for future dating relationships. but also applies to employment, family, community, and social interactions.
To accomplish this shared obligation of early education, there are a variety of practical tools available for both kids and families. Here are just a few. In situations where a person may feel at risk or threatened, the “Safety Stop Sign” empowers them to use their voice to stop the offender’s unacceptable behavior. People instinctively know a behavior is unsafe just by listening to their “Guiding Voice” or “Gut Feeling” intuition. If a child is feeling “icky or yucky,” generally uncomfortable, they know something is wrong and therefore should use their safety tools. When individuals experience such unpleasant emotions, they should always use their “Trusted Triangle” or “Safety Network” to seek help. Through these simple steps, kids of all ages can immediately begin alleviating the emotional stress caused by others’ inappropriate conduct.
These basic tools are essential. Until we reach as many of our youth as possible, far too many will continue to believe these often ignored or celebrated actions are not wrong. If everyone earnestly works together to initiate life-changing conversations, we can make our homes, schools, and the internet safer, but most of all, our children’s lives better.
Article provided by Danielle Armitage, Outreach Coordinator, SOS, inc.
CHECK OUT THE LOVE IS ACTION COMMUNITY INITIATIVE CONVERSATION BELOW
On May 11th, 8pst/10cst
to talk with Leigh Esau, founder & leader of Foster Care Closet.
"Working to Restore Dignity in Kids Entering Foster Care"