A group of local teens will be visiting Livingston County high schools this month to educate fellow youth about a prominent form of teen dating abuse.

Each year, the Howell LACASA Center’s Teen Advisory Council (TAC) presents a month-long campaign at local high schools to raise awareness about teen dating abuse. This year’s campaign, “Update Your Apps and Set Your Boundaries”, uses social media as a vehicle to highlight what behavior is out-of-bounds when it comes to dating and relationships.

LACASA Youth Prevention Services Coordinator Kayla Grant says teens communicating through social media and by phone can allow someone to monitor another person’s every move. She tells WHMI issues like jealousy, possessiveness and controlling behavior can often be disguised as love. Grant says this type of behavior happens early on in unhealthy relationships and is the most common, which is one of the reasons the Teen Council chose the form of abuse as this year’s campaign theme.

Grant says one of the campaign’s slogans is, “Just because they follow you on social media doesn’t mean they should follow your every move”. The goal is to help teens identify what behavior is appropriate, and what behaviors should raise red flags.

The TAC will visit every public, private and alternative high school in the county this month. The group will set up a display during lunch periods, encouraging other teens to sign a pledge setting their own healthy boundaries. Campaign posters will be displayed in the school’s common areas and in bathrooms that include LACASA’s 24-hour help line number. The campaign is also being promoted on social media with the hashtag “Set It Challenge” and spreading the message, “Challenge Accepted, I Set My Boundaries”. More information about the TAC and their campaign is available at the link below. (DK)