The N.C. A&T Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness is partnering with the Greensboro Police Department and other community agencies in a project to prevent teen dating violence.
“We asked teens what to call this sensitive topic. They have named it ‘No Hatin n Datin,’ ” the police website says.
Unlike the dating advice many teenagers have received for generations, the program isn’t a well-meaning lecture full of “do’s,” “don’ts,” and stern warnings.
“The goal is not for adults to tell teens what is necessarily good or bad, but to instill in teens the importance of thinking for themselves about what it means to them to have a healthy relationship,” says Dr. Kelly Graves, director of the A&T center.
“Connecting relationships with music is a great way to start a dialogue about what a healthy relationship ‘looks like’ to them.”
Respecting teenagers’ ability to think for themselves may not be society’s traditional way of handling the erratic judgment and hormone-influenced behavior of adolescence. And asking them to think in terms of this era’s popular music, that’s not exactly in the mainstream of parental thinking, either. But Graves has high regard for young people. And she knows the status quo isn’t perfect.
“At our center, we frequently see people — teens and adults — who have experienced violence in their relationships, and we see the negative impact it can have on them.
“But we also see them overcome and not only survive but thrive in who they are and what they want to do in their lives. We see the strength of the human soul, and we are honored to help facilitate people finding and tapping into their resiliency.”
Along with the Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness and the police, other agencies involved include:
- Family Service of the Piedmont
- Gems Leadership
- Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department
- Guilford County Schools
- Partners for Healthy Youth
- Smart Girls
- Teens Taking Action
- UNCG Center for Women’s Health & Wellness
- Win-Win Resolutions
- Youth Focus Inc.
- YWCA of Greensboro