Steps to Success held day to promote awareness of teen dating violence

The+flyer+used+to+promote+%22Wear+Orange+Day%22+by+Steps+to+Success.

The flyer used to promote "Wear Orange Day" by Steps to Success.

Erez Ben-Akiva, Website Manager

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Steps to Success held “Wear Orange Day”, to promote awareness of and advocate against teen dating violence as part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Students were encouraged to wear orange and also wear orange ribbons handed out by Steps to Success student leaders. Students could also get their nails painted orange for $1. The proceeds went to a local charity that advises students and teenagers in all types of relationships.

According to Steps to Success High School Coordinator Melissa O’Brien, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national movement, and the second Tuesday of every February is deemed “Wear Orange Day”.

It’s really not so much a Brookline thing, more so of this national movement to bring more attention to teen dating violence, the signs that kids can be aware of, if they know friends who were involved in a violent or unhealthy relationship and what to do in that situation,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that she personally finds the issue important.

As an adult I also experienced an unhealthy relationship and for me, if I were a teenager in a relationship and I had known what an unhealthy relationship looked like, that it’s not ok to tell someone who they can and can’t talk to, it’s not ok to control someone, what they wear, who they speak with, where they go. If I knew what were signs of a violent or volatile relationship, at that age, I think that would have helped me avoid a lot of things that I had to deal with as an adult,” O’Brien said.

According to O’Brien, most adults have either experienced dating violence as a teen or know someone who has. O’Brien also said it is important to realize that violence can not only be physical, but take other forms as well, such as emotional and verbal violence.

I think what’s important for teens to understand is that you should always say something,” O’Brien said. “You should always speak to someone.”