Teens learn dangers of unhealthy relationships

GILES COUNTY, Va. - It's a problem teens face every day: unhealthy relationships can take a toll physically, mentally, and emotionally.

High school senior Kelcie Lowe says she hasn't experienced it but knows it's an issue at the school.

"I'm sure there are students I have walked the halls with every day that go through it," Lowe said.

And relationships aren't always romantic.

"Unhealthy relationships aren't just in dating situations or marriages," said Linda Johnson with the New River Valley Women's Resource Center. "Healthy relationships apply to any relationship you have, whether it's with your family, whether it's where you work, whatever it is."

Students learned about healthy relationships by spinning the "wheel of trust" and winning prizes with the help of Carilion and the New River Valley Women's Resource Center.

"Everyone talks at lunch, everyone hangs out with their friends at lunch," Lowe said. "I think when you use this as a starter, it just gets people talking."

Students at Narrows High School signed a pledge to stop dating violence and they also received a card to remind them that they pledge not to physically, mentally, or verbally abuse their boyfriend or girlfriend.

"You know, they may just think that's normal, like, 'That's how this person loves me, that's how we talk, that's how we act,' when it's not," Lowe said. "That's not how it should be."

Students say social media can contribute to an unhealthy relationship.

"There's so many apps and social media websites that people can use to get in danger and harm other people, and it's hard to be a teenager nowadays," said senior Carrie Orey.

Lowe says this week is a good way for teens to know they have support with relationships.


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