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New Virtual Program Regarding Teen Dating Violence Grabbing Attention

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 -- 7:59 AM

(WBAY) A new program taking shape in February to teach teens that love is more than a feeling is grabbing their attention in surprising ways.

It uses videos and online chats to engage teens and get them to talk about dating violence during this awareness month.  While the pandemic made virtual discussions a last resort, they’ve resulted in a positive response from teens.

“We adapt,” says Michaela Polewski, the prevention coordinator at Golden House in Green Bay.  Adapting has become the motto for just about everyone and everything during the pandemic, but when Polewski started putting together a teen dating violence prevention program for local schools and youth groups, all virtual, she was afraid it just wouldn’t cut it.

Teenagers proved her wrong.  As prevention coordinator at Golden House, a domestic abuse shelter and program to help survivors, Polewski is focused on stopping the cycle of violence and starting that conversation young.

She’s using powerful videos from a non-profit called One Love, created after family and friends missed signs of violence that led to the 2010 murder of their daughter and friend, Yeardley Love.

To her surprise, Powleski says teens are actually more engaged in conversations about relationships when they’re virtual.  Because everything is on screens these days, the manner in which she presents these tough topics helps teens relate a little more.

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