Teen Speaks Out Against Violence

Teen Violence
House of Ruth’s Teen Advisory Board Member, Sam- 16, Chino High School

Among the many topics I have gained knowledge about through the House of Ruth, one of the most important ones to me is “Healthy Vs. Abusive Relationships.” After being around the many stereotypes and standards of a relationship, it has been refreshing to learn what a truly healthy relationship consists of. So many of the shocking facts about relationships have changed my perception. For example, jealousy is a sign of a potential abuser, not a sign of love. Also, a partner should not be passive aggressive with their emotions. On the other hand, a misunderstood characteristic of a healthy relationship is that it actually strengthens the relationship to spend time apart from your partner. Additionally, a healthy partner respects your boundaries and doesn’t pressure you to do things against you will.

As a teen, I regularly witness so many abusive relationships. One partner is controlling and isolates his/her partner from all of their friends. Another partner is physically abusive. Another partner body shames his/her partner(a form of emotional abuse). A type of abuse I didn’t know about in the past is financial abuse. It’s surprising that a partner can take control of the money, thus creating a life that the other partner cannot escape from. It is particularly difficult to see teens around me trapped in an abusive relationship because they don’t know any different. In the very least, I am able to offer advice to my peers. I have many resources from the House of Ruth to give to people. Also, I started a club at my school called Philanthropy Club. This club gives me the perfect stage to share all of the knowledge I know about healthy and abusive relationships. I can bring in guest speakers such as Taylor Marvulli or Ashley Solis to share valuable info about domestic violence along with many other topics such as gender stereotypes and anger management. Being well-educated in all of these topics has and will continue to strengthen my judgement of what kind of relationships I want to have.
It is important to have teens spread awareness about teen dating violence and empower others to talk about it.