Apna Ghar educates students on gender violence

On Feb. 8, Dance Marathon and WHO Club hosted Apna Ghar, an organization centered around teaching healthy relationships, identifying abuse and ending gender violence. 

Radhika Sharma, the manager of Outreach and Education, spoke to students about the importance of ending gender violence, healthy and unhealthy relationships and ways to help others who may be in an abusive situation. 

“I want the students who are here to come away from this with a sense that I can identify what is healthy and what’s unhealthy,” said Sharma. “I can think of examples of what a really good relationship looks like. I can think of examples in popular culture of what is not ok.” 

1.5 million teens experience dating abuse in some form, but according to the presentation, only about 33% ask for help. Knowing the signs can not only help you understand unhealthy relationships, but also provide support for friends who may be going through a situation. 

Preventing gender violence is a top goal for Apna Ghar. However, they can’t do this without a community that advocates against gender violence. 

“If we’re ever going to prevent gender-based violence, we need education, we need skill building, we need people to feel emboldened by their peers to step up and say that is not ok,” said Sharma. “We need people to be upstanders rather than bystanders when they see unhealthy relationship behaviors. But to also find a way to do that is not demeaning or call someone out and humiliate them.” 

Students collaborated on ways to end gender violence including discussions with parents, meetings with teachers/staff, changes within the community, and conversations to have with friends.     

Apna Ghar works very hard to end gender violence and will continue educating and providing support for people who need help to escape an unhealthy situation. If you or anyone you know find yourself in an abusive relationship, reach out to the 24-hour crisis line (773) 334-4663.