A Message from Rivers of Hope
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Every year people join together for a national effort to bring awareness about the issue of teen dating violence. Our advocates work with youth experiencing this on a regular basis right in our communities of Wright County..
Teen dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three female identifying students are a victim of sexual, physical, verbal, and/or emotional abuse. One in 10 students of all genders report experiencing physical violence in a dating relationship. Violent behavior in relationships often begins between the ages of 12 and 18. These statistics are staggering and have a significant impact on our communities.
The full survey for Wright County can be found here. In 2021 Rivers of Hope served just under 200 individual students in Sherburne and Wright Counties. Based on the number of students who completed the surveys, it was calculated that in Wright County 791 students disclosed having experienced dating violence of some sort. In Sherburne County the number was 1,090.
This indicates that if these numbers have remained relatively consistent since 2019 that Rivers of Hope has served just 10 percent of the number of students experiencing dating violence. However, the majority of students we serve are referred to us for family violence meaning that most students experiencing Teen Dating Violence do not have access to an advocate.
Apart from earlier prevention, working with students experiencing Teen Dating Violence is key to preventing later relationship violence in their lives. Rivers of Hope hopes to continue to expand our outreach and education services so that more youth in our community know that there is an organization who wants to empower them to find safety in their relationships. In order to expand we rely on the support of community partners like you to educate the people you serve about the impact teen dating violence has on our community.
We cannot live out our mission of ending relationship violence alone, so thank you for standing beside us.
Hannah-Ruth Patterson, 763-295-8902, email@example.com