February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Hosted by the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network (SCVAN), Sistercare, and other community partners, “Leap of Love” is an event for parents and students to learn more about teen dating violence – including relationship red flags, risk factors, myths about dating violence, and the value of healthy relationships. Event partners include Richland County School District 2, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, City of Columbia Police Department, SCCADVASA, Pathways to Healing, Interfaith Partners of SC, The Hive, Younglife, MisKonception, Re-Discover Me, and the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affair.
When: Thursday, February 15 | 5:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Brookland Baptist Church- Conference Center, 1066 Sunset Blvd, West Columbia, SC
Who: High school teens
Cost + Registration: Register for free at: www.scvan.org/leapoflove
Incentives: Gift card prizes for teens, free food preceding the panel discussion
What will be provided: The event will include a DJ at the beginning, with registration and exhibits for all to learn from and enjoy.
From Sistercare’s Executive Director, Leah Wicevic: “With one in three students experiencing sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse, it is critical for our community to come together to ensure that teens and their parents have the support and resources needed to live free from abuse. It has been a privilege collaborating with dedicated community partners on this event, because together we can shatter the stigma and misconceptions associated with teen dating violence and create a safer and healthier community for all.”
From SCVAN’s Faith Based Victim Services Program Director, Roger Acton: “The Leap of Love event is an opportunity for SCVAN and community partners to provide critical information on teen dating violence to high school students and their parents. This event will help connect both teens and parents to 15 community partners who can provide resources, help, and healing, for not only one night, but for longer-term support.”
Sistercare is a nonprofit, United Way partner agency, whose mission is to reduce the occurrence and impact of domestic violence in the Midlands. Last year, Sistercare served over 4,000 domestic violence survivors and their children by providing emergency shelter, 24/7 crisis line advocacy, clinical counseling, legal advocacy, transitional housing, and rural services. Sistercare’ s Teen Outreach Program served over 2,700 teens in 2023.