Youth Violence

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One of the most life changing experiences I’ve had happened during Know More program which focuses on youth violence prevention. I never planned on attending this program because I didn’t have any time for anything else other than my exams during finals week. My school counselor insisted and I couldn’t refuse even though I wasn’t excited to spend my weekends out of town with strangers. Back then I didn’t realize it would play a significant role in my personality development.

At that time my personality wasn’t completely built up and I had a lot of issues with figuring out who I’m as young adult. Complicated childhood of being raised in an abusive household, being bullied at school for my appearance and trust issues with everyone left a
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The second day was much more fulfilling and educational. One young lady came and stood in front of us and our counselors started to give out tissues. We didn’t understand why, but nobody said anything. That woman happened to be a domestic violence survivor, who was rescued by this program. And she told her story about how her partner violated her privacy, raped her and tried to commit murder, most of us had tears and the whole auditorium was silenced. As a person who was used to control emotions I did not say a word, but listened and tried to picture it in my head. It was horrifying.

And then there was the main closing event. Trust circle. All 50 students stood up in a huge circle. We were nervous and did not know what to expect from this experiment. The rules were that the counselor would say something like “Who has ever experienced any discrimination because of the skin color, please, step forward” or “who has ever been abused or experienced violence, please, step forward” and teenagers actually did this.All of the students went forward at some point which led me to a bigger realization. The world is even more cruel than I thought. I felt the pain of all people around me and I couldn’t help myself but cry and hug the first person I see. Fifty teenagers with different stories were together, supporting each other and opening themselves up. It was huge. It was one of

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