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.
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.