Awareness of teen dating violence

Winning essays in the NMCADSV Know Your Worth Essay Competition. The entries sought to answer the question: How common do you think violence or abuse is in relationships in the CNMI? Describe what you think needs to be done to help youth and teens experiencing violence or abuse in a relationship.

Editor’s Note: The following essay won first place in the middle school division of the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence 2022 Know Your Worth Essay Competition.

Teen dating violence is said to be “too common” in many relationships throughout the world that has been affecting many people’s lives, men and women. Roughly 1.5 million high school students suffer from their partners every year. It has been a very underreported problem and is prevalent in our community. Countless teenagers go through dating violence in relationships without even having a single clue they are experiencing it, and that’s a huge problem. People are too blind by their reality of being loved to see the abuse their partner is putting on them. Experiencing this trauma at a young age will greatly affect their perspective on how they see love and have anxiety in future relationships. It can also alter one’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and mental state. This major crime needs to be more acknowledged in our community, and that is the whole point of this month.

How can we help youths and teens suffering from dating abuse? I believe some people in our community are living in fear and continue to suffer from abuse in relationships. I don’t blame them. The best thing we can do is show that our community is open to help them without being judgmental. If you ask me, I feel awareness is really salient in helping victims of domestic violence. Many people hide in fear and do not reach out for help. Little do they know, it’s going to start breaking them down and hurt them physically, sexually, and mentally. The only way we can help teens with these issues is if they reach out to us. Another factor in helping teens is before children reach that stage where they start dating, they should be taught skills on how to manage a healthy relationship. Things like how to treat your significant other and how to communicate with them are some of the basic things teens should be taught.

All things considered, teen dating violence is not just a “February” thing, it should be something that should be talked about every day. We people should carry on with promoting awareness to help those who are in distress. They need our support. Imagine the people who survived domestic violence. These brave individuals may be out of the hands of their partners but they have to continue to live on with trauma and fear. Our duty is not to ignore these things; we have to raise awareness and support the survivors who have been through a difficult time. It’s our turn to stand up, stand up and at least try and make a change. Let people hear our voices to make the world a better place.

VICTOR NASH M. SANTOS (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Victor Nash M. Santos is a student of Mount Carmel School.

VICTOR NASH M. SANTOS (Special to the Saipan Tribune)

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