HOTLINE: 800-439-6507

Contact: Donna Giberti,
Director of Development and Marketing
Independence House, Inc.
508-771-6507 x221, Fax  508-778-0143

Art Contest Gets Kids Across Cape Cod Thinking About Healthy Relationships

Hyannis, MA, December 22, 2014 — The month of February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and Independence House wants teens on Cape Cod to think about what healthy relationships look and feel like.

Independence House, Inc. is Cape Cod’s leading resource, counseling and advocacy center to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. Independence House efforts are intended to stop the first incident of abuse from occurring. The agency envisions a world free from intimate partner violence, achieved through primary prevention practices.

Across the Cape, submissions are requested from middle and high school aged students in the form of drawings, paintings, collages, poetry, short stories, paper cutting, photography and more.  Students in middle school grades 7-8 are asked to think about the qualities of H.E.A.R.T., an acronym standing for Healthy, Equal, Accepting, Relationships, Together.  Upper grades 9-12 are asked to focus on how technology can be used to promote healthy relationships.

A gallery-style display of all submissions will be presented at an event on February 26th from 6:00-8:00 the Hilton by Doubletree in Hyannis. Highlights of the event will also include:  A spotlight of MVP (Mentors in Violence Prevention) students, a curriculum which Independence House facilitates in Barnstable, Dennis-Yarmouth Regional and Falmouth High Schools; a performance by “A Lovely Dance Studio” of Mashpee; special guest speaker Malcolm Astley whose high school daughter was killed by her high school boyfriend after she broke up with him. (Boston Globe ArticleWBUR interview); and prizes presented to art contest winners. Students from area high schools, the general public and media outlets are invited and encouraged to attend the free event.


PRIZES:  Each contest (middle and high school) will award a $125 gift card to winners and $75 gift card to runners-up.

National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a campaign spearheaded by the National Dating Abuse Helpline and Loveisrespect, a partnership of Break the Cycle and the National Domestic Violence hotline.  The campaign is directed towards youth to help break the cycle of abusive and controlling behaviors in a dating relationship. These behaviors extend to physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, and digital abuse.