February 24, 2017
By REACH TEAM

Teen Voices: What TDVAM Is All About

This week’s guest blog post is from Janiah, one of the Peer Leaders in the PAVE (Peers Against ViolencE) club at Waltham High School.

The author, Janiah

Hello, my name is Janiah Marrero and I am an officer in the PAVE (Peers Against ViolencE) club at Waltham High School.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is in February and our main focus is helping educate teens on this serious topic to prevent the cycle from continuing. Although teen dating violence is often overlooked it is affecting millions nationwide. A successful Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month will hopefully add to the knowledge teens already have and increase their curiosity to learn more and also get involved more. 1.5 million teens are victims of dating violence each year and until teens are more aware of what a healthy vs unhealthy relationship is this number will continue to grow. The goal is to connect generations and work together to fix this issue that no person should have to deal with alone. 33% of teens who were involved in an unhealthy relationship never told anyone, they dealt with a heavy, challenging situation all alone because of fear and the lack of education. Teen dating violence is real and needs to be recognized for what it is.

Our goal as PAVE peer leaders is not only to help with education but to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. With proper training and education we are able to pass on our learning to our generation and also add to the ideas adults have on the topic. The numbers from statistics are too high for comfort, change needs to occur to ensure the safety of all people who engage in relationships.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to help that change. At our school we

Waltham High Peer Leaders participating in last Friday’s “PAVE Day”

are dedicating one Friday to this issue calling it PAVE Day. Throughout the school posters are up reminding students and teachers to show their support by wearing purple the color for domestic violence and telling them that PAVE Day is Friday 2/17. On that day we plan to table throughout all 3 lunches and walk around sharing facts and statistics and why we believe this is an important topic. Over the last few years we have seen a substantial growth in the students’ education and knowledge on this topic which proves that what we’re doing is beneficial. On top of that the support the students of Waltham high school have given us and our club shows that they believe in our cause and are ready and willing to help our mission. If you believe that teen dating violence awareness month is equally as important as other educational days and that teens should be more aware of this issue, show your support and make a difference.