Letter from the Executive Director:
February is known as the “month of love”. Spring is in the air and Valentine’s Day is celebrated by many. What we often see portrayed as “love”, however, is not really love.
February is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. I am very proud of the prevention work done at Turning Pointe, and this month is just one example of how prevention can save lives. I learned from our lead youth advocate recently that young people involved in unhealthy relationships do not always identify with the term “domestic violence” and a more inclusive and relatable term for intimate partner violence is “relationship violence”. A large part of prevention is education, for both those in the domestic violence world and, of course, survivors and friends of survivors.
Our marketing and communications coordinator posted a question on our Instagram recently. She asked our followers, “What did your first relationship look like?”. I thought back to my first significant relationship, which started out sweet. The person bought me gifts and doted on me until one day it all changed. He had been pressuring me sexually, taunting me and calling me a prude, becoming more aggressive and mean until finally he choked me. Once he saw I was crying, he apologized and turned on the waterworks and I was left thinking that I had done something wrong. He was on to someone new pretty soon after that and it hurt.
I wish I would have seen one of our prevention presentations. I probably would not have thought of my experience as domestic violence, but maybe I would have understood relationship violence. It is vital that we talk to the teens in our community and use language that includes them. If you know a young person in a toxic relationship, ask if they understand what relationship violence is instead of bringing up domestic violence. It could be the difference in them understanding what is ok and not ok in their first relationships.
Gina Finley, MNPL
If you know someone who needs our services, please have them
CALL OR TEXT: 360.426.1212
What our Valentine’s Day at the shelter looked like:
“A client who came into shelter recently was talking about how she’s struggling with disciplining one of her kids. I mentioned that we have a parenting class for clients and she got so excited and said ‘This is the best news!’
She hopes that our parenting class will help her be the kind of parent she wants to be.”
Letter from the Executive Director As part of our all-staff meetings this spring, we're collectively going through a book called "The Compassion...