Rise Above Violence’s Teen Board of Directors outlines healthy relationship behaviors

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    By John Finefrock
    Rise Above Violence

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Rise Above Violence’s Teen Board of Directors are working hard to spread the word about this issue.

    In the past few weeks, the teen board has been talking about red flags to look out for in potentially unhealthy relationships. This week, the teen board is offering what they feel are “green flags,” or indicators of a healthy relationship — as discussed at their meeting last Friday.

    Some “green flag” behaviors are that your partner:

    • Has a positive influence on your life.

    • Respects your physical and emotional boundaries.

    • Allows you time to spend with friends and family.

    • Gives you space to be yourself.

    • Calls and texts appropriately and respectfully.

    • Resolves conflict in a constructive and nonviolent way.

    “Some qualities to look for in a partner is that they’re really caring for you, that you do things for each other, that you just genuinely care about one another,” said Charlie, an eighth-grader at Pagosa Springs Middle School and a member of the YouthRise Teen Board of Directors.

    As part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we’re offering specific action steps to try to promote healthy relationships around Pagosa Springs.

    This week’s action step is: Model healthy relationships to those around you.

    The YouthRise Teen Board of Directors meets outside of school — both virtually and in-person -— on Fridays and is working toward the goal of ending relationship violence in Pagosa Springs. This month, the teen board is recording weekly YouTube videos about Teen Dating Violence, which can be viewed on the Rise Above Violence social media channels. The teen board is open to all seventh- through 12th-grade students in Pagosa Springs.

    Additionally, once this last bout of snow melts down, the teen board will also be posting red garden flags around town parks in the upcoming weeks, with a relationship “red flag” written on each one of them. 

    For more information about YouthRise programs, offered at no cost, contact Cheryl Bowdridge at cheryl@riseaboveviolence or 946-2576, or John Finefrock at john@riseaboveviolence.org or 403-5461.

    Rise Above Violence is a nonprofit organization which promotes the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence. Rise provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of violence. All programs and services are free and confidential. Visit riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call the 24-hour hotline at 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.