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2022 Service-Learning Symposium: Relationship Abuse in Community and Literature

Relationship Abuse in Community and Literature

Authors: Elizabeth Keener

Faculty Supervisor: Anelise Farris, Ph.D.

Community Partner: LoveSmart Inc.


For my service-learning experience I worked with LoveSmart Inc, which is an organization that works to educate pre-teens and teens on teenage dating violence. I chose this group to work with because the founder of the group, Valerie Williams, came to my high school to tell her story with domestic violence and give us statistics and facts about teen dating violence. When I found out relationship abuse would be a topic of connection, I knew I needed to reach out to work with LoveSmart. I worked along side their team to put on an event at Howard Coffin Park in which students were educated on teenage dating violence. This had an impact on me because a lot of the kids were so interested in the topic just like I had been in high school, and it made me think of how much topics like these need to be discussed in high schools. It largely affects the high school population, but it’s treated as such a taboo topic that kids don’t feel like they have a safe space to talk about it and most times also don’t know the signs. Since this service-learning project, I have stayed in touch with Miss Valerie Williams and I will be helping LoveSmart Inc after this project concludes as well.