February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month so teens across the state are trying to put an end to domestic violence through a contest at the Women's and Children's Alliance.
This is the third year the WCA has hosted the contest, getting submissions from high school students around the state. Their mission is to spark the conversation among teens about domestic violence.
“This contest allows us to give them more of a say, and the chance to use their own voices,” Women’s and Children’s Alliance Outreach Coordinator and Prevention Specialist Madeline Donfro said.
Donfro hopes the peer-to-peer involvement with the PSA contest will help teens relate with the message on a personal level.
“It's really easy for us at the WCA to go out and talk to people, but often times we know that it's not as impactful as when two young people talk to each other,” Donfro said. “They understand what they're going through, they understand what this looks like, so these videos can be shown to other people their age and can have that bigger impact.”
Bryce Spaulding from Columbus Academy in Idaho Falls took home first place for the “relationship abuse” category, using the modern technology of texting to show the ways abuse has evolved in teen relationships.
“Just because you're not getting yelled at in person and you can't hear their voice, doesn't mean they're not angry,” Spaulding explained.
It’s something he hopes teens around the state will start talking about, and reaching out for help when needed.
“I definitely want people to realize that no matter what type or form of domestic abuse you're going through, there's always a solution, whether it be the Women’s and Children’s alliance or a family member, you can always get help no matter what you're going through,” Spaulding said.
The PSAs will be used during outreach events at schools around the state and organizers say they plan to hold the contest again next year.