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Healthy vs. Unhealthy

Social media can be a very harmful place when it comes to controversial videos. One video in particular shows an 18 year-old girl, Romina Garcia, saying, ”If your boyfriend hits you or beats you up, stay with him. He loves you, because he’s risking for you to press charges on him, calling the police — a guy that’s willing to do that for a girl, that’s amazing.”

Dr. Phil had Romina come on his show to explain herself. Here’s a link to the episode: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/28/romina-garcia-teen-video_n_6560530.html)

Romina’s video raises a lot of eyebrows on the topic of healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. AWP has taught me to ask a lot of questions when it comes to victims and situations like Romina’s. Did her abuser force her to make a video? Was this a cry for help? Instead of assuming facts that only seem to be present from the video, I wanted to think of alternative circumstances.

The viral video has been seen all over Twitter, Facebook, etc., and many people have extremely harsh words for Romina. Commenters have called her stupid, have told her to kill herself, and expressed countless other negative views.

AWP has taught me and many other teenagers to empower and teach communities how to stand up for victims who don’t have a voice. AWP has motivated me to try to bring our community together and raise awareness on healthy vs. unhealthy relationships. Shedding light on these kinds of stories is so incredibly important for preventing deadly and toxic relationships.

Instead of bashing Romina and girls like her, we need to come together as a community to sympathize with her and understand the place of hurt she is coming from, not humiliate her on social media and disregard a victim’s sufferings. AWP has educated me to come from a place of compassion and understanding. Everyone needs to be aware of life threatening relationships, and not stand by and wait for the worst possible scenario to happen. By teaching women like Romina the true meaning of love, what mutual respect is, and how it should always be a top priority, we can take a step forward in ending Domestic Violence.

One of the most important things A Woman’s Place has taught me is the importance of empowering DV victims and survivors, instead of putting them down for their misery. I truly have Romina in my prayers for a better future ahead and hope that she asks for help when needed, and I feel the same for anyone in Romina’s situation.

To learn more about AWP’s education programs in the community, visit The Prevention Project webpage.

Madison Tillmann, AWP Volunteer and local high school sophomore

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