XENIA — As part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, Xenia’s Family Violence Prevention Center (FVPC) will host “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.
“Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” asks young men and woman to literally walk one mile in another person’s shoes whether it be boots for girls or even ladies’ high-heeled shoes for the boys.
“It’s not easy walking in these shoes, but it is a light-hearted and creative way to get the community to talk about something that’s really difficult to discuss: gender relations and sexual violence. Domestic violence and sexual assault advocates are encouraged by this widespread outreach in the media,” FVPC officials said.
According to FVPC officials, Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month communicates the significance of empowering teens, parents, educators, law enforcement, and local community business owners how prevalent and consequential teen dating violence is in Ohio.
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. An article put out by The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus found that one in three girls in the US is a victim of dating abuse, whether physical or emotional. It also showed that teens who suffer abuse at the hands of a partner are more likely to struggle in school, develop depression, or turn to drugs or alcohol, and victims are also at greater risk of experiencing the same patterns of violence later in life.
FVPC proactively works with Greene County’s teenagers in middle and high schools for multiple days of evidenced-based safe dating curriculum. The two prevention educators are committed to helping teenagers understand what healthy dating looks like and what to do if you or a friend are involved in a hurtful or controlling relationship.
During the month of February, FVPC’s social media sites will concentrate on teen dating information.
FVPC also strongly encourages families to discuss dating relationships openly. For guidance with how to get the conversation started, visit www.teendvmonth.org, www.cdc.gov, www.breakthecycle.org, and www.loveisrespect.org. To experience what digital dating abuse looks and feels like, try the free “Love is Not Abuse” app available on iPhones.
The “Walk a Mile” event will be held at Five Seasons Family Sports Club, 4242 Clyo Road, Dayton. Pre-registration is currently underway and registration forms may be obtained in most junior and senior high schools, by calling 937-376-8526 ext. 117 or by going to http://bit.ly/2sbZVjZ.
Cost to participate is $15 per person which includes a T-shirt or $5 at the door with no T-shirt. Participants should bring a pair of shoes that belong to someone else. Prizes will be awarded in various categories, including highest heel, most improved walker in heels, and school with the most participation.