TDV Committee Encourages Students to Learn About Relationships

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Last Friday, The Teen Dating Violence Committee brought four guest speakers to talk about how to recognize what an unhealthy relationship is and how to help a friend who is in an unhealthy relationship. 

These conferences lasted the entire school day. Many students gathered at the library for this informative seminar. 

The seminar consisted of three different student groups, on hand to receive helpful tips. Most of the speakers talked about different warning signs to look for in a relationship that can lead to severe violence. 

AISD social worker, Victor Perales was one of the first speakers. He discussed a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy relationship and shared some major red flags to watch out for. He also showed students educational videos about how to not confuse love with abuse. 

“If a person is abusive, they’re going to show you, Perales said. “There’s no way they will be able to hold it back.”

Perales also talked about how if you stay with someone even after they abuse you, the abuser believes they now have a mental hold on you and that will give them power to control you. 

Abuse can come in many forms: physical, mental, sexual and even emotional. 

“The red flags creep up slowly and most times we’re so blinded by them because we’re in love,” Perales said. 

The next speaker was Amy Dossett – she works with Safe Haven and presents at schools throughout Tarrant County about teen dating violence and healthy relationships. In her presentation, she talked about what teens can do when we have a friend in an unhealthy relationship. 

“Tell your friend that they don’t deserve to be abused because most of the time your friend is hearing from the abusive partner that everything is your friend’s fault.” Dossett said. 

A few tips Amy gave the students was “don’t tell your friend what to do” because your friend has to take control for themselves, they have to be ready to make those decisions. Another tip she gave was help them make a safety plan because if they’re not safe, it could lead to dangerous situations. 

“There’s a lot of different things you can do to help a friend like encourage them to talk to a social worker or counselor on campus or go to ( which has a text line you could communicate with,” Dossett said. 

The third speaker was another member of Safe Haven and her name is Samantha Sells, she presents at schools as well and informs students about the qualities of a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship. She did a few activities with the students to see if they knew the difference between the two types of relationships.

“Isolating your partner from family and friends could become abusive because it is used as a control tactic,” Sells said

A few of her activities included each group of students to build a puzzle that would reveal major tips to help someone that is in an abusive relationship and determine whether a certain statement described a healthy relationship or unhealthy relationship.

“It’s important to believe someone if they confide in you about their relationship and it’s important to report to a trusted adult if someone you know is in an abusive relationship,” Sells said.

The last speaker is named Diana Junes and she was referred as a guest speaker by the organization In her presentation, she spoke about her personal experience growing up and some red flags to look for in relationships.

“I saw so many red flags in people that I was in a relationship with but I chose to ignore them,” Junes said.

Diana began to talk more in depth about her time growing up and how she found herself in an unhealthy relationship. She came to the seminar to encourage students to never stay in an abusive relationship no matter what.

“I have been single for two years and I’ve just been focusing on myself and taking my feminine power back,” Junes said.

After all the presentations were over, students learn that there is always someone that will be here to help, if you or a friend are experiencing abuse in a relationship.

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