As students return to classes, many young people are entering high school and college for the first time and meeting new friends. It’s common for teenage girls and young women to start exploring relationship building and finding boyfriends. But many times without good direction, these new relationships can turn toxic, and even deadly.
According to Domestic Violence Statistics, nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
It is possible to recognize the negative patterns leading to domestic violence? Yes and often they result from poor environmental influences, personal experiences and just wanting to be accepted and loved at any cost. For teens and young women it is important that they understand the patterns of domestic violence and know that they can overcome if faced with the challenge.
Metro Atlanta residence will get a chance to better understand these patterns, be entertained and celebrate victory over domestic violence though the hit stage play: Soundtrack Covered in Black.
The play takes the audience on the journey of a young woman's life named Kim who finds herself in an abusive relationship. Soundtrack Covered in Black combines love, pain, laughter and the original work of some of Atlanta’s top poets to not only shine a light on the problem of domestic violence, but teach the keys of escape. One important key is self-love.
Executive Direct, Joyce Littel of Littel Concepts says she got involved with this play because the message of self-love is too important to not share. Littel says this play shows a common problem for domestic violence victims, a lack of self value.
“The first person you have to love is yourself. The first person you have to protect is yourself. You can’t think that you are the one who will make it better. Only the other person can change themselves,” says Littel.
Littel says young women often misunderstand love and don’t realize that with self-love, your life and dreams can be fulfilled and, “You do not have to accept anyone controlling you, speaking down on you, or putting their hands on you…that not love.”
Women must also understand that emotional abuse, while not leaving scares on the body, leaves pain, stress and anger in the body. These things are equally unhealthy, says Littel.
Studies also suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. And, men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives as sons of nonviolent parents.
Littel points to these sad statistics as the “domestic violence cycle” that must be broken. As male children are brought up in violent households they develop behaviors that says its o.k. to abuse your girlfriend or wife. In turn, little girls learn that it’s normal to accept the abused. It is vital that parents become aware of what their actions are teaching their children.
“You’re not put on this earth to be beaten…No one should ever do that,” says Littel, and that’s why this message must continue to be showcased for as many people a possible to see.
Friday night’s production of Soundtrack Covered in Black is the first run, but Joyce Littel hopes to take this play to college campuses and showcase it to people of all ages and all over the country.
Soundtrack Covered in Black happens Friday, August 15 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts a Community Center at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased at http://www.eventbrite.com. Doors open at 7 p.m. and remaining tickets can also be purchased at the door.