By John Finefrock and Marissa Talamante | Rise Above Violence
Respect your partner. Respect yourself.
Uplifting healthy relationships is our focus for February’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This year’s theme, “Respect your partner. Respect yourself.” was chosen by the student leaders of Pagosa Springs High School’s (PSHS) Youth Rise Club, facilitated by Rise Above Violence’s youth advocates.
A slew of events are scheduled for the month of February, with the goal of amplifying the needs of youth and their experience with teen dating violence. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship free from violence.
All month long, a 3-inch gnome will be hidden somewhere in PSHS. It will not be in a bathroom, classroom, or any teachers’ personal space or office. This is a light-hearted way to bring awareness to the issue of teen dating violence in our community and nationwide. If found, please follow the instructions attached to the gnome to claim your prize.
Additionally, there will be two “WearOrange4Love” days at PSHS where students are encouraged to wear something orange to promote respect, consent and healthy relationships. The first WearOrange4Love Day was on Feb. 7, which is the national date that many nonprofits and schools from around the country are wearing orange for love.
But is one WearOrange4LoveDay enough? No. On Feb. 22, Youth Rise will host a second WearOrange4Love Day at PSHS that is specific to our community and will have lunchtime events at the high school. Students from Youth Rise will have orange ribbons available for free on both dates.
The week of Feb. 20 through Feb. 24 is “Respect Week,” which will have daily contests and prizes aimed at promoting healthy relationships and our month-long theme: “Respect your partner. Respect yourself.” More information about Respect Week will be in a subsequent article and the Rise Above Violence social media channels.
Rise Above Violence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving around 400 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs.
Visit www.riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call (970) 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.