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Teen Council Launches February Campaign

Teen Camp Big Poster 2015February, 2015 — The Teen Advisory Council at LACASA Center launches its dating abuse campaign this month as part of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

“Don’t Be Blind to Love” is the campaign message. Members of the council will visit area high schools in February to publicize the campaign and to raise awareness about dating abuse and dating violence.

“The campaign is designed to draw the attention of teens,” said Kayla Dillon, LACASA’s youth prevention educator, who advises the council. “We want to show teens that love can sometimes make us blind to abuse.”

Dillon said that teens often don’t realize that controlling behavior is abusive and unhealthy. “Our society, social media and television are constantly showing us examples where this behavior is acceptable. The council developed the campaign to start conversations and get people thinking.”

Teen Camp P1 2015The council developed original content and graphics for the campaign. The print campaign includes a hashtag symbol #DontBeBlind. The social media campaign is titled “Don’t Be Blind to Love.”

“Our concept is an intentional spin-off of the popular e-cards on social media,” said Bailey Brown, a council member and senior at Fowlerville High School. “These cards usually feature a witty quote. We wanted to infuse our campaign with an element of surprise by using quotes which had a deeper meaning and provoked thought.”

Members of the teen council will visit area high schools at lunchtime or during special speaking engagements in February to talk with their peers about dating abuse and dating violence.

“Getting our message out there will begin to spark conversations,” said Brown. “Change starts when people see things in a new light.”

National statistics show that 1 in 3 teens will experience some type of dating abuse or dating violence. Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average. Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.

“We want to help teens understand that someone who tries to take control of their time, their friendships, or their activities is being abusive,” said Dillon. “Teens may confuse this behavior with love, but love is not smothering, manipulative or controlling.”

The council created social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for teens to join in on the “Don’t Be Blind to Love” conversation.

Members of LACASA’s Teen Advisory Council include: Bailey Brown, Maddie Clough, Reanne Szafranski, Anna Dietrich, Erin Casey, Emmaly Badgett, Amy Brennfleck, and Haley Sullivan.

Local high schools participating in the program include: Brighton, Fenton, Flex Tech, Fowlerville, Hartland, Howell, Kensington Woods, Legacy, The Bridge, and Pinckney.


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