Allie Nault joins forces with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence on efforts to prevent teen dating violence and abuse
Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Allie Nault, of Gilford is collaborating with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and their NH Says NO MORE: Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault project to help shine a light on the issue of teen dating violence in New Hampshire and the United States.
“After learning about the number of teenagers who experience abuse, I wanted to get involved,” said Allie, who was crowned Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2016. “No one deserves to be abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s important that we share that message and let teens know that there is understanding, help and support available to them.”
The statistics about violence suffered by teens are staggering:
- Nearly one in ten high school students has been purposely hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.1
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence, almost triple the national average. 2
- Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.3
- Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.4
“I learned that some of the behaviors that people may think are flattering at first, like constant texting or wanting to be with someone all the time, might actually be red flags that someone is trying to control a partner,” said Allie. “Teen dating violence is a huge problem, but most parents have never talked to their kids about it, and most teens who are being abused never reach out to their parents or another adult for support.”
Allie was impressed by the work that the Coalition and its 13 member programs are doing to raise awareness and educate students. “They are out in schools, teaching kids not just what abuse looks like, but giving them skills so that they understand what makes a healthy relationship. As I tour the country, I advocate for healthy living, education and community involvement among teens. Learning how to develop safe relationships is key to a healthy lifestyle.”
If you think you, your friend or your teenager is in an abusive relationship:
Advocates are standing by 24/7 to support you or provide information. You don’t need to be in crisis to call and you can remain anonymous by choosing not to give your name. The most important messages to give survivors are: “I believe you,” “You don’t deserve to be treated like this,” and “I will be there to listen and support you.” The New Hampshire domestic violence hotline is 1-866-644-3574. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Teens can also text an advocate at 22522 or chat online at http://www.loveisrespect.org/
The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) is a statewide network committed to ending sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking. The NHCADSV and its 13 member programs do not discriminate based on gender, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental, or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation. Online at www.nhcadsv.org.
New Hampshire Says NO MORE is a project of NHCADSV which seeks to raise awareness and galvanize action to end domestic and sexual violence in New Hampshire. The NO MORE logo is the first national symbol to express support for ending domestic and sexual violence. Learn more and take action at www.nhsaysnomore.org or at the national NO MORE campaign www.nomore.org.
Helpful Links and resources:
- New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Teen Dating Violence Fact Sheet
- Teen Dating Violence Brochure
Article courtesy of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization