The mission of Love Doesn’t Shove is to educate the community about the dynamics of healthy relationships as a means to end teen dating violence and promote a safer, happier society.
Love Doesn’t Shove strives to facilitate and guide an interactive dialogue within school systems to help students consciously identify what is acceptable -- and unacceptable -- in the context of a healthy relationship.
Opening the line of communication serves a number of purposes:
1. Lets students know that relationships are safe to talk and ask questions about.
2. Assures students that their voices and experiences matter.
3. Provides an opportunity for students to become aware of and understand their own experiences, as well as the experiences of others (which is often therapeutic).
4. Encourages students to cognitively make the right choices moving forward in the relationships that they build -- not just with a romantic partner, but anyone with whom they surround themselves.
The open conversation is intended to meet students where they are with the questions and comments they may have about relationships, all while pointing them back to behaviors that constitute “healthy.”
Educational materials incorporated in the discussion include the power and control wheel as well as an explanation of the bystander effect. When she is a guest speaker, Love Doesn’t Shove Founder Gabriella Kreuz often shares personal examples to help illustrate dating violence scenarios.
Love Doesn't Shove Founder Gabriella Kreuz works with Saint Joseph Academy High School students raising awareness on domestic violence at Health Fair. (c) 2016
Open discussion with Cleveland Central Catholic High School's "Girls Club" leads to involvement from every girl and a fun lunch. (c) 2016
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The message of Love Doesn't Shove is one that applies to all audiences. Abuse can happen to anybody just as it can be perpetrated by anybody, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or socioeconomic status. Love Doesn't Shove intends to empower individuals by including all voices in the educational conversation surrounding dating violence, as well as offering a platform for those voices.
By addressing teen dating violence, Love Doesn’t Shove aims to treat domestic violence and all forms of intimate partner violence at its very root. Having the teachable moments early is important. Our organization believes helping young people feel valued and learn
how to build/maintain healthy relationships is the key to preventing violence.
Some people may not know there are resources to help them through difficult relationship situations, especially teenagers and young adults. Both online and through in-school presentations, Love Doesn’t Shove offers help resources to those in need.