Sunday, February 21, 2016

Safety on the net


According to a 2011 nationwide survey by the CDC, 23% of females and 14% of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age. What makes this statistic especially sobering is the fact that many teens lack the communication skills to deal with the new and uncomfortable emotions these situations bring up. Skills to stand up to a perpetrator, and also the courage to ask for help.


February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Generating conversation about how teen internet use affects healthy relationships is the goal of Safe Love is…Cyber Respect at 2 Alices Coffee Lounge in Newburgh. This teen art show, organized by domestic violence services advocate Safe Homes of Orange County, is the second of its kind for the agency. The 2016 theme was cyber respect: topics include internet bullying, online stalking, and other issues teens face every day when they plug in. Submissions came from middle and high school students across Orange County.


The message of awareness, from teens and directed to teens, is powerful and effective. We all know the internet makes communication efficient. Anonymity makes bullying that much easier, but focusing art on this specific problem gives teens the courage to fight back.  


Safe Homes of Orange County: www.safehomesorangecounty.org
2 Alices Coffee Lounge: www.2alicescoffee.com

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