Teen Voice (TV) volunteers are peer educators and social activists! TV volunteers do peer education workshops, plan events, and raise awareness about teen dating violence and sexual assault. TV volunteers are a mouthpiece for the Washtenaw County community on teen dating violence and sexual assault.
SafeHouse Center’s Teen Voice is a group of teen volunteers (13-18 years old) dedicated to ending dating violence and sexual assault by providing educational events and presentations. Teen Voice works on a peer-to-peer education model that believes that the best way to reach and educate teens is to have the information presented by their teen peers. Teen Voice is committed to raising awareness and creating social change on the issue of teen dating violence and sexual assault. Teen Voice is available to come speak for your class, group, or agency!
Teen Voice members go through 20 hrs of training, and hold weekly TV meetings. Trainings are held twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.
Dating violence is a pattern of coercive power and control that one person uses over someone with whom they are in an intimate relationship. Abusers (batterers) use a variety of tactics which can include physical violence, sexual violence emotional abuse, intimidation, threats, and money to control their partner.
Abuse happens to people of all races, cultures, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, educational backgrounds, and economic levels. The only characteristic common to those who are being abused is that the person they are in a relationship with is hurting them and exercising power and control over them.
Abuse does not go away on its own, and almost always gets worse over time. The only person to blame for the abuse is the one who is being abusive. The batterer makes a choice to be abusive, which makes the responsibility of stopping the abuse with the batterer, never the survivor.
Adolescents are commonly seen as immature, irrational, and dramatic. Often their feelings are discounted, and their concerns are not taken seriously. As a result, their relationships are frequently viewed as trivial “puppy love”. Because adolescent relationships are often viewed in this context, the seriousness, or even existence, of teen dating violence is often minimized.
Adolescents do not have the same rights in society as adults. This limits a dating violence survivor’s choices when seeking resources for help. For example, she must decide whether her need for help outweighs the risk of telling her parents what she has been experiencing at the hands of her partner. If her parents do not approve of her dating, or do not know she is sexually involved, she may be extremely hesitant to go to them for help. Consequently, dating violence survivor’s options and safety are limited by things such as parental consent laws, lack of transportation, lack of money, lack of confidential healthcare and mental health resources, and lack of programming specific to adolescents needs.
SafeHouse Center provides counseling and advocacy, legal, and health services to teens. SafeHouse Center’s services are free and confidential.