OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
Dating may have slowed due to the Coronavirus, but parents should always be vigilant about dating pitfalls to avoid. Does your son’s or daughter’s dating partner show possessiveness, jealousy or a short temper toward her or him? Red flags such as these escalate to more dangerous behavior. One in four, and sometimes one in three dating relationships in youth between the ages of 12 to 24 contain verbal or physical abuse. Our youth aren’t talking with their parents, and parents aren’t aware that their youth may be victims or perpetrators of abuse.
Youth group leaders and parents can work together to educate and protect youth. Model healthy behavior at all times in the home. When our children and grandchildren realize that their dating partners are being abusive, they can end the budding relationship before it escalates. Healthy relationships cannot be assumed, and our youth have no experience with how to handle coercive behavior, cleverly disguised as love. Treat these discussions as seriously as you treat discussions around avoiding drugs or wearing seatbelts. More girls and young women are injured by boyfriends than from all other accidents.
Opportunities for Action
The covenant below is offered as a way for your family to come together to affirm your care for one another, and to emphasize that God’s will is for us to have abundant life free of violence.
A FAMILY COVENANT to PROTECT AGAINST VIOLENCE
We take the model of Biblical covenants as a guide in our relationships with God and with each other.
I believe I honor God, myself and my family when I protect myself from unsafe and unhealthy influences and activities which include, but are not limited to verbal and physical abuse, violent movies and video games, sexting, addictive substances and coerced sexual acts.
I will speak up when something threatens my family’s well-being. If I am afraid or concerned about a problem I will speak to a trusted and responsible person.
I affirm that God is not sending violence into my life to test or to punish me. I know that in all times and in all places, God’s desire for justice is at work in the world, and that God’s will for people is to be in relationships of mutual love and respect.
I believe that no one has the right to use violent words or actions to control me. Furthermore, I promise never to use abusive behaviors to attempt to control anyone. I will make every effort to speak out against behaviors and attitudes that encourage, excuse or ignore abuse.
I believe that my relationship with God and my relationship with all people in my life should be fulfilled in much the same way, through loving thoughts, actions and words.
Signatures of family members:
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO OFFER THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS, CONTACT:
Joan Fenton email@example.com