BY STACI WILSON
Teen domestic violence.
It’s not a topic many want to acknowledge and fewer speak about.
But Blue Ridge senior Nathaniel Wellman chose to address the issue as his Eagle Scout project.
Wellman said he wanted teens to know that it wasn’t a “gender-specific” problem. And he wanted them to know that there was a place to turn if they needed help.
As part of the project, Wellman of Troop 98 headed up a collection of items at Blue Ridge High School for the Women’s Resource Center.
He also presented an teen domestic violence awareness assembly for juniors and seniors at the school.
“One in five high school girls and guys deals with teen domestic violence every day in an abusive relationship,” he said. “And one in four is either physical or sexually abusive.”
That’s a high number of teens impacted, Wellman said.
And it’s a project others in his school also got behind.
The Blue Ridge High School National Honor Society also donated a portion of the proceeds that made at an April e-cycle event to the Women’s Resource Center.
The donation came as a shock to Wellman. “I was surprised people were thinking about it,” he said, “and considering it with another fundraiser. Somebody was actually listening.”
And taking on something traditionally thought of as a “woman’s issue” didn’t occur to Wellman.
“I didn’t think of it as me making a statement. It was something everybody should be aware of. I did it to help out everybody I care about. It’s not a one-gender problem.”
Shirley Smith of the Women’s Resource Center said the organization tries to reach out to teens.
“To have (a teen) do this for us is amazing – just amazing,” she said. “It means so much for the Center and we can serve people in a much better way.”
For more information about the Susquehanna County Women’s Resource Center visit www.wrcnepa.org or call 570-278-1800 or the WRC Crisis Line at 1-800-257-5765.