QC Students Create Award-Winning P.S.A. to Solve Teen Issue

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An award-winning P.S.A. airing statewide is created by four students at a local high school.

On Friday, February 28th, 2014, Illinois Lieutenant Sheila Simon visited the Quad Cities to congratulate the winners of the “NO MORE Dating Abuse” video challenge, organized by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) with the help of Verizon.

The winners are Gabrielle Pinc, Travis Meier, Elane Edwards, and J.J. Schrick from Moline High School. The group made a short video focused on teen dating abuse.

“It shows teens how to identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship, how victims can get help, and urges teens to support healthy relationships,” according to a Press Release from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

All four students say they have seen examples of teen dating abuse and wanted to be involved in a project that would bring about change.

“When we started doing it, we realized how much of a bigger deal it was,” explains Pinc.

“I see it daily in the halls with people who are very controlling of their partner and it’s bad and people need to realize that they deserve better than that,” says Edwards.

“It’s not always with physical abuse, but emotional especially,” agrees Schrick. “Some people are a little more controlling than they should be and it leads to unhappiness within both people, so it’s just really hard to see that especially when it’s with friends.”

The video, which you can see here, starts with a girl who has been abused. The middle of the clip is dedicated to statistics about teen dating abuse. For example, one student actor types “half of youth who have been victims of both violence and rape attempt suicide” on a blank computer screen. Another student holds up a sign that reads “1/3 of teens are affected by dating abuse.” The video ends with a friend extending a hand to the girl and helping her “stand up against teen dating abuse.”

High schools throughout the state of Illinois submitted video entries for the contest. In 2013, Moline received 2nd place, which some students say makes this year’s victory more meaningful.

“It’s really exciting,” says Meier. “I’ve always just kind of enjoyed making silly little videos for YouTube and friends and school projects, so something that really gets recognized by this — with my friends, actors, contributors watching — it’s really something else.”

The video was shown to students of Moline High School on Friday, February 28th, 2014 while Lt. Gov. Simon presented the four students with their awards – iPads. The school also receives $1,000 for submitting the winning entries.

“It’s just a great feeling knowing that so many people are going to see our video and that we’re going to be helping so many people with this,” says Schrick.

“I’m hoping if we raise awareness and get others to help each other and others to realize it, then the problem will decrease,” says Pinc.