Angelica Brodeur of Women’s in Distress of Broward spoke to the teens at Inspirations for Youth and Families about Domestic Violence, which happened to be during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Women In Distress of Broward County is the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center. They offer 24-hour crisis intervention through their Crisis Hotline and emergency shelter, as well as counseling and support for victims and their children. They also provide education and professional training on domestic violence and related topics in Broward County schools and the surrounding community.

Angelica explained to the teens that when a young child lives in a household with Domestic Violence, they learn the behavior and can become a bully in school. They see that they can get what they want by exhibiting violent behavior. This learned behavior carries over to their teen years when they first start dating. Then these teens become adults and have kids and the cycle continues.

If this conduct is not corrected at an early age, we can see in the future that the child will become violent. Anyone can be a victim or abuser of domestic violence. It does not spare age, race, gender, or sexual preference. Studies show that one in three teens experience dating violence.

Some of the presentation topics included:

  • What are boundaries
  • Defining what is an unhealthy relationship
  • The importance of respect in a relationship
  • The warning signs of an abusive relationship

Angelica shared her presentation (see below) and opened the floor to discussion throughout the speech. It was obvious her message stroked a chord as the Inspirations’ teens were very active participating by asking questions and sharing their opinions. Angelica’s presentation explained what the teens should expect in a healthy relationship and she informed the group on how to detect an unhealthy one.

Relationship issues to be aware of:

  • If there is jealously in a relationship then you should talk about it with your partner so the hard feelings do not escalate too far
  • No one deserves to be called something offensive when they are in a relationship – and if this should occur – it needs to be addressed immediately
  • Strong communication between partners fosters respect
  • Sometimes it is good to take a step back before confronting your boyfriend or girlfriend
  • There is nothing wrong with having time on your own
  • Boundaries can change over time

Unhealthy traits of a relationship

  • Boundaries are ignored
  • There is no respect
  • One person is yelling or giving the other the silent treatment
  • One partner is always trying to take control through coercive tactics