Candlelight vigil sheds light on Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Members of B.I.O.N.I.C., the Cordova Family Resource Center’s Believe It Or Not I Care youth prevention group and Tribal Youth Council members sit on stage after performing skits showing what unhealthy relationships might look like during a candlelight vigil in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. First row: Allison Ritter, left, Harley Klix, center, and Levi Pearson, right. Second row, left to right: Faith Hatch, Gracie Hatch, Grayson Marek, and James Corales. Third row: Cody Shaw, left, Jimmy, center, Drake, right. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the Native Village of Eyak, in partnership with the Cordova Family Resource Center, held a candlelight vigil at Mt. Eccles Elementary School on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

NVE family program coordinator Jessica Weaver, wearing an orange “Love is respect” shirt, hosted the event where orange colored snacks and drinks lined the entryway. Orange is worn in support and is the color of the teen dating violence ribbon.

NVE family program coordinator Jessica Weaver speaks to the audience during the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month candlelight vigil, hosted by NVE in partnership with the Cordova Family Resource Center, at Mt. Eccles Elementary School on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Therapists in the community attended and were available if services were needed while members of B.I.O.N.I.C., the Cordova Family Resource Center’s Believe It Or Not I Care youth prevention group and Tribal Youth Council members, acted out skits demonstrating what unhealthy relationships might look like.

“What rights were not respected in scenario one?” Weaver asked the audience whose answers were the right to say no and the right to feel safe.

After numerous scenarios were performed, the evening closed out with a candlelight vigil and a moment of silence for those effected by teen dating violence.

“Love is respect,” Weaver said to end the night.

“I wanted to focus on what is in a healthy relationship,” she said afterwards. “I want them to know what they have the right to.”
Weaver hopes to hold this event next year with even more community members present.

For more information or resources, visit https://www.loveisrespect.org/ and https://www.cordovafamilyresourcecenter.org/home.html.

Katie and Larry Goodale listen to NVE family program coordinator Jessica Weaver speak during a candlelight vigil in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month at Mt. Eccles Elementary School on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)