One in three adolescents in the United States is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
That is one statistic about teen dating violence from loveisrespect.org that was particularly alarming to the members of Franklin High School’s National Honor Society.
“Everyone has heard of domestic violence, but no one hears about it in high school as much, even though it’s just as big of a problem,” said Moriah Aberle, a junior at FHS.
Two former Franklin students, Cora Welton and Taylor Wilson, took on the topic of teen dating violence for an FCCLA STAR Project three years ago.
“They were advocating for better in-school programs for teen dating awareness,” Moriah said.
The students raised awareness by working with their guidance counselor, Kelly Simmons, to teach a safe dates curriculum class once a week to students at the school. When Welton and Wilson graduated and Simmons moved to another school, the National Honor Society chose to pick up where they left off and keep the project going.
This year, the organization is selling Teen Dating Violence Awareness T-shirts for $10 for students and community members to wear during the Feb. 6 basketball game against Thunder Ridge, Kan. There also will be a banner hanging during the game for people to sign and to declare what they think love is.
Teen dating violence is a topic the students feel isn’t talked about enough, and they want to educate their peers on warning signs and how to seek help.