Recently, we hosted our 4th Annual "What's A Girl To Do" Summit for Teen and Young Adult Ladies. To say the very least, it was truly a huge success. Young ladies from all over Metro Atlanta joined in on this real life/real issues event. Our guest speakers shared their most challenging times. Both speakers had been young adults that were in abusive relationships. Both narrowly escaped with their lives. Neither of them knew each other before that day, but their stories were eerily parallel to one another.
I too shared my story, and we soon found that by the time that all three of us had spoken, there was certainly a common theme. 1) we all were around the same age when we met/become involved with our abusers, 2) their lifestyle was vastly different from ours ("why do good girls like bad boys"), 3) they were charming and manipulative, 3) we had children by these abusers and 4) we all had a "breaking point" where we made our escape from the misery.
During this Summit, the young ladies that were there heard us - they truly heard us. We not only gave our stories of our struggle, we gave the testimonies of our triumph! We gave them the assurance that if they find themselves in an unhealthy relationship - or know someone that is - that there is help. There is hope. There is better!
During the Summit, I also shared with the young ladies the true meaning of their worth. I correlated the awesomeness, strength, uniqueness and beauty of a diamond, a ruby and a pearl to them, and how they are just as precious as those rare jewels - to be honored and treasured - and not to be tossed aside and overlooked like a common rock on the ground. They are jewels! Each young lady went home with their own "diamond" or "ruby" to remind them of just how precious they are.
Below, I've listed several resources for Teen Dating Awareness and Prevention.. Please share this blog post, because although Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month may be over, Teen Dating Violence itself isn't.