Youth in Metro Atlanta are raising awareness about bullying and other violence, through Angie’s House and its Healthy Relationship Training (HRT) Academy. The HRT Academy kicked off this month with participants from Rockdale, Newton and DeKalb counties. The new initiative will provide pedagogical and skills training training for young people, carers and organizations that provide services to young people.
âSince 2012, Angie’s House has been raising awareness in the community about the effects of domestic and family violence on children,â said Angie’s House Executive Director Elaine Davis-Nickens. âTo this end, the Healthy Relationships Academy will ensure that young people know that feeling safe, comfortable and comfortable expressing their feelings are important qualities of a healthy relationship. We will also work to ensure that the community at large and caregivers understand that young people shape the behaviors they see among their peers, family members and adults.
The Academy’s flagship program – the Youth Advisory Council – will guide the development of Angie’s House’s teen dating violence prevention, self-esteem and anti-bullying programs. The board is made up of nine young people aged 12 to 17 who have completed leadership training and will develop their own leadership style and presentation and platform skills by co-facilitating Angie’s House forums and workshops. The council will help Angie’s House reach its target population through peer-to-peer relationships.
âIf we are to help young people develop healthy relationships, it is important that we meet children on their own level using language they understand,â said Davis-Nickens. âWe have the platform and our board members will give us direction so that we can be the most effective. These are young people talking to young people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property and about 16% reported being bullied electronically. In addition, among high school students who dated, 21% of women and 10% of men experienced physical and / or sexual violence in dating. The programs and strategies developed by the Advisory Council on Youth will seek to prevent young people from becoming either victims or aggressors.
âUnfortunately, many young people experience abusive behavior but do not identify the abuse as dating violence. For them, these behaviors are wrongly viewed as ânormalâ and not viewed as problematic, âDavis-Nickens said. âOur goal is to end this vicious cycle.
For more information on the Healthy Relationships Academy and the Youth Advisory Board, visit Angie’s House online at www.angiesfirsthouse.org.
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