By Zephira Derblich-Milea, Youth Program Coordinator, Shalom Bayit
Shalom Bayit’s youth program, Love Shouldn’t Hurt (LSH), provides healthy relationships education and dating violence prevention to Jewish youth (middle school – college), parents, and educators in nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2011 we reached over 900 teens with critical abuse prevention education.
Every time we lead a workshop we can see the impact our program is having on teens. One example of this is the 8th grader who approached her religious school teacher two weeks after participating in an LSH workshop. “Maya” told her teacher that her relationship with her boyfriend had started out “good” but that it had slowly become abusive, and although she had known this for a long time, she did not know what to do. After hearing the LSH workshop she felt she finally had the tools to leave the relationship (which she had wanted to do for a long time). She used the handout from the LSH packet entitled, “what to do if you are in an abusive relationship.” Following the steps and information in the handout and the tools she had learned in the workshop, Maya made a safety plan to leave. Maya expressed how happy and relieved she was to have made that decision, and how grateful she was to have participated in the workshop.
We know that dating violence impacts teens at a high rate and we believe that educating teens now about dating violence is key to breaking the cycle of violence in our communities.