Orange Flags Ahead

Madison Kuhlmann, Staff Writer

February is a diverse month with days for everything from celebrating massacres to the ultimate cliche’ display of love. One thing is celebrated all month long and that is teen dating violence awareness.

Every year the tenth of February is the chosen day for sponsors to ask followers and fellow motivators to wear orange. It’s a celebration to raise awareness for the many cases of teen dating violence in the world each year. The color is a symbol of change and caution while the date is in honor of one of the earliest documented instances of the issue. Orange banners and signs have been known to be on display with various inspirational slogans all month long.

“No, I had no idea to be honest,” said Nona Chai (11), “I’m glad I know now, because I think it’s an extremely important topic that doesn’t get as much publicity as it should.”

It’s not that every relationship involves one person harming the other physically or even mentally, but still teenage hormones do more than just cause adolescents to be unnecessarily or easily aroused – young adults can even get quite violent when they are unable to predict or understand what is happening within their bodies. Violent behavior often begins within the years of 12 to 18 and just under one and a half million teens are exposed to violence within their relationships each year. Above that though is that only 15% of those teens actually report that violence within the necessary time frame to have anything done about it. At least there is hope instilled among the public with the knowledge that countless groups band together year-round in an effort to help raise awareness for such an issue.

“Yes, I’ve noticed verbal abuse between friends,” Dabin Oh (10), “I think it’s great that February is used to raise awareness. Nowadays I feel like teens are leaning more towards emotional abuse rather than physical or verbal though.”

Which is true, in the past three years, more cases of emotional abuse have been reported than physical; however, verbal abuse is a second by a mere 2% difference. It’s not that people don’t beat each other anymore, but rather that more and more girls are looking for power and they think the most effective way is to feel that power is by fighting for their limitations. Sometimes, they get carried away in doing so.

“If someone I knew was in an abusive relationship I would warn them and urge them to not continue on within the relationship for their own benefit. However, I would not report it right away so that I can give the people involved a chance to fix the problem themselves first,” said Dania Fadawi(12).

If you feel it is your responsibility to help change an issue with an abusive relationship you can look at or