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HealthPath News

HealthPath News

Crossroads Crisis Center Supports Teens In Teenage Dating Violence Storytelling Project

According to Crossroads Crisis Center, 25% of high school students have experienced physical violence in dating relationships. Crossroads Crisis Center, located in Lima, Ohio, aims to enhance safety for survivors of domestic violence and their children by educating, advocating for and empowering individuals in Hardin and Allen counties. Crossroads Crisis Center’s programs include two safe emergency shelters, peer support groups, educational programs, economic empowerment programs, and a special focus on teen dating violence. 
Sydney was 14-years-old when she started dating her boyfriend. She was a freshman in high school and had fallen in love with her best friend. They did everything together and confided in one another. Sydney thought things were perfect between them until she realized he was actually controlling every aspect of her life. It was a mental and emotional abuse that encompassed Sydney, disabling everything in her to the point where she felt like she couldn’t leave or end their relationship. 

 
 Crisis Center has a special focus on teenage dating violence. A recent initiative was a gameshow-style discussion where teenagers answered questions and engaged in discussion on various scenarios.

Unfortunately, this was not Sydney’s first experience with abuse. She was sexually abused from age four to age eight and emotionally abused by her father for many years. This abuse led Sydney to her teenage years, making the behavior of her current relationship seem completely normal.

Sydney’s boyfriend made promises he never kept and continually harassed her and made her feel worthless. He became physically abusive during their senior year of high school. He shoved, pushed and tackled Sydney while they were at school. After cornering her in the hall one day, screaming in her face, Sydney decided she had had enough. She finally stood up for herself, filed a restraining order, and attended a support group with Crossroads Crisis Center where she learned how to identify abusive relationships and
what a healthy relationship looks like.

According to Crossroads Crisis Center, 25% of high school students have experienced physical violence in dating relationships. Crossroads Crisis Center, located in Lima, Ohio, aims to enhance safety for survivors of domestic violence and their children by educating, advocating for and empowering individuals in Hardin and Allen counties. Crossroads Crisis Center’s programs include two safe emergency shelters, peer support groups, educational programs, economic empowerment programs, and a special focus on teen dating violence.

“We help survivors become self-sufficient and not feel like their only option is to return to their hurtful relationships,” said Emily Wrencher, executive director, Crossroads Crisis Center. “We’re able to offer them support during difficult and trying times. Our focus of teenage dating violence is important because we feel teenagers in our community need an outlet to learn about the warning signs of an abusive relationship, how to be in a healthy relationship, and how to help someone they might know who is being abused.”

With funding provided by the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, Crossroads Crisis Center has been able to implement three successful initiatives this summer through a storytelling project to highlight the issues with teen dating violence. The initiatives included:

  • A blog post from Sydney sharing her abuse story, which was shared on the organization’s social media outlets and their WordPress blog.
  • A PowerPoint presentation sharing facts about teen dating violence, which was used as a campaign for Crossroads Crisis Center called, “I Should Have.” 
  • A gameshow-style discussion about teen dating violence in which a panel of teenagers from various schools answered questions on whether a scenario was a healthy or unhealthy relationship, the warning signs of violence, and engaged in discussion on various scenarios. 
For more information, visit www.crossroadscrisiscenter.com




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