For many women and teens February is not all about chocolate and roses, but about how to escape from an abusive relationship. For many it is very difficult to talk about this topic, let alone take action to make changes.
Songs can be a way of opening the conversation.
My wife and I were asked to speak at a high school in my hometown in Texas City, Texas. It was at a special class of at risk teen girls with very troubled lives. The school was locked. There were no pointed objects allowed including pencils. An armed guard sat at the front desk. Each of these girls had gotten themselves into trouble in some form or another.
The girls sat at standard school desks four rows wide and seven desks deep. They were mostly black and my wife and I are white. After being introduced as two doctors visiting the school, we walked to the front of the classroom and began with a simple question, “You can ask us any medical question you would like. Are there any difficulties, issues, or questions you would like to discuss?” The girls looked down with their arms crossed. The silence was deafening. We stood there for several minutes and just waited.
Realizing that there would be no answer, I asked a different question, “Do any of you know anyone who has been treated badly by another person, touched in a way that made them uncomfortable, or put down in a way that made them feel badly about themself?”
After that, I sang the class a song I wrote called Love Doesn’t Hurt. After listening to this song, the flood gates opened. The girls talked about a “girl they knew” who had been locked in a closet for hours, beaten, gotten pregnant by someone they knew and were told not to tell.” The stories went on and on till the yellow school bus drove up on the street outside and it was time for them to leave. Still they kept talking.
Love Doesn’t Hurt broke the ice with a group of at risk high school girls who really needed to talk.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, but it is not only teens who may need to find a way out of an abusive relationship. Click here to listen to Love Doesn’t Hurt. Visit HealthRock.Bandcamp.com/music to hear more of my songs. Please feel free to share this with your friends. Your feedback is always welcome.
Yours in good health,
Mache Seibel MD