Abusive relationships involving youth are shockingly common: one in three teenagers will experience some form of abuse. It's also stunning how often the issue can be overlooked. Only one-third of the teens involved in abusive relationships seek any kind of help. WNED-TV and the Family Justice Center have partnered on Reach Out: Recognize Relationship Abuse to raise awareness of the issue.
The goal of the project is to help parents, teachers and other interested parties to better "understand and recognize the warning signs of relationship abuse among that younger age group, and then understand how to have a conversation with someone they think might be in trouble," said Senior Producer Lynne Bader.
A website provides resources and assistance to those interested parties, Bader said. There are separate sections for parents, teachers and peers where they can view videos to help intervene on behalf of a victim of abuse. Handouts and other downloadable materials are available.
Not all abusive relationships involve physical violence, Bader said. "There's lot of other kinds of abuse: verbal abuse, mental abuse. Digital abuse is a huge problem among young people"
The effort will also involve social media outreach. Bader and her colleagues at WNED developed the videos at the website.
"We also did a 30-minute television program that will air Wednesday, October 24th at 10 p.m. on WNED-TV (and on Monday, October 28th at 10:30 p.m.)," Bader said.
"It really looks at relationship abuse on a larger scale, a larger perspective. We have a section that talks about teens and young adults, but we really dive into this issue because it affects all of us."