JACKSON, Wyo. — Community Safety Network and the Peer Advocates Club at Jackson Hole High School are partnering this month to bring attention to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
According to the CDC, nearly 1.5 million young people experience physical violence from a dating partner in a single year. Every year, at least one in four teenagers in the US reports physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a statistic that far outweighs any other type of youth violence, according to data shared by Community Safety Network.
This week, the rotunda at JHHS is decorated with orange, the official color of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Students are also encouraged to wear orange in solidarity.
Though anyone can experience relationship abuse, girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence – three times the national average, according to the Department of Justice.
The Peer Advocates club is a long-standing partnership between Teton County School District #1 and Community Safety Network’s Education and Prevention program.
The club is modeled after Community Safety Network’s adult Advocacy Training: the young people who join go through a training process focused on intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, community resources and how to support a peer. The club also focuses on awareness building, to show our community that we care about violence prevention and about survivors.
At JHHS, messages of healthy love are chalked along all of the windows. The bathroom stalls boast signs saying “Healthy love asks for consent” and “Healthy love respects boundaries” amongst a number of other “healthy love” messages.
Daily morning announcements read by Peer Advocates have been going on this week as well.
“Parents and youth-serving professionals can support this effort by engaging young people in honest, supportive, non-judgmental conversations about teen dating violence,” said Adrian Croke, director of education and prevention, in a press release.