Welcome To The Rainbow House
Prevention • Intervention • Advocacy • End Abuse
OUR AGENCY MISSION STATEMENT
We believe: No one deserves to be abused be it emotionally, physically, or sexually. Our prime service is the safety and empowerment of all victims and their children.
We Will: Provide prevention, education, and information to communities, families, and schools.
By Shannon Sexton, Marinette and Oconto Youth Advocate
Summer is filled with breaking the rules, standing apart, ignoring your head, and following your heart. But what happens when breaking the rules means breaking healthy relationship rules? What happens when standing apart means standing outside the crowd to avoid abuse being noticed? What happens when ignoring your head means ignoring the warning signs? What happens when following your heart means holding on to a bad relationship because you love the other person?
For most, it’s difficult to imagine our first dating experience involving violence. Dating, after all, is a rite of passage we keep stowed in our memory bookshelf, where visions of our youth and perhaps a clumsy first kiss live forever. That isn’t always the case. The reality of teen violence is more common than expected. 1 in 3 adolescents report being physically or sexually assaulted during a date. 50% of adolescents also report knowing someone who has been hit, slapped, punched, kicked or raped during a date. So, has something changed in the teen dating dynamic that has made violence a new phenomenon, or has the reality of this abuse always existed?
Boys tend to push, hit hard, and twist arms. Girls tend to slap, choke, and yell. Regardless of the method, dating violence has become alarmingly common among adolescents. Much like adult domestic violence, teen-dating violence extends across all races, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds. Just like its counterpart, teen-dating violence is based on power and control.
Talking with your friend honestly about the abuse you see in their new relationship can make a big difference, whether that friend is being abused or being abusive. But sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say or how to approach the subject. Here are a few tips to get the conversation started.
- Listen to what they have to say
- Talk to them in private
- Let them know you are there to help
- Refer them to the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
- Don’t be judgmental, make them feel stupid or ashamed
- Do not force them with ultimatums
- Give them time to decide when they are ready to receive help
For more information contact:
PO Box 1172, Marinette, WI 54143 ~ (800) 956-6656
1530 Main St., Marinette, WI 54143 ~ (715) 735-6656 Fax: (715) 735-7293
1201 Main St., Oconto, WI 54153 ~ (920) 834-5299 Fax: (920) 834-5330