Bringing Awareness to Teen Dating Violence Through Art
Every February, young people and those who care about them recognize National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month as a way to raise awareness around teen relationship violence and promote healthy and respectful relationships. This year, in addition to our normal outreach work, The Julian Center collaborated with the Indianapolis Art Center to create an art installation – 33, Three Forty Two – aimed at bringing awareness to teen dating violence and fostering a community of support for survivors.
“This project means a lot to us as providers so that we could bring awareness to teen dating violence. We wanted to provide our support and let survivors know that we stand with them,” said Shay Allen-Johnson, Youth & Young Adult Advocate at The Julian Center.
In the United States, one in three teens experience dating violence. Out of that 33%, 342 voices are featured in the installation. Each voice is presented on a magnet and tells a story of survival, pain, strength, and support. Together, these 342 magnets form the shape of a heart, slightly distorted to represent the residual trauma of abuse. The heart is divided into seven sections, one for each category of abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, stalking, financial, and digital.
The project was an evolution starting from a simple concept of wanting to create a mural to commemorate the month and grew as partner agencies, including Outreach Indiana, Girls Inc, Alpha Chi, and Project Home Indy, joined.
“Thankfully, we have a great relationship with members at Art Reach who really made us think about how to execute making 342 magnets during COVID. Even though we weren’t in one big room completing this project, we still felt connected as we focused on our goal,” said Allen-Johnson.
The installation is on display at the Indianapolis Art Center. The community is invited to view it, free of charge, during their normal business hours.
“This project is important for our community. Survivors need to know that they are not alone. They also need to know that there are agencies here in the community that can support them,” said Candace Williams, Youth Enrichment Services Manager at The Julian Center.
If you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, call our 24/7 crisis line at 317.920.9320.