Expressions against violence

The Domestic Violence Shelter is excited to announce the upcoming launch of “Expressions Against Violence.” Expressions Against Violence is an initiative aimed at creating space for teens to address dating violence through their own passion and creativity. The initiative will take place in February 2024, which is nationally recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. “Our goal is to provide a platform for young voices to be heard, spark thoughtful conversations, and inspire change,” said Colleen Rice, Executive Director at The Domestic Violence Shelter. “Art and literature have always been powerful tools for social commentary and change. We believe our youth have unique perspectives and insights that can help us all understand these issues better.”

Expressions of the Heart: Art and Poetry Juried Contest
One of the key components of Expressions Against Violence is the “Expressions of the Heart Art and Poetry Juried Contest,” exclusively for high school students. Submissions for this contest will be open from February 1 to February 20. Teens are encouraged to use their creativity to convey powerful messages that can raise awareness and contribute to the ongoing dialogue about dating violence and abuse. Submissions will be showcased in an art show at The Ohio State University at Mansfield on February 27. For submission details, visit

Symbol of Strength: A Short Film
In addition to the art and poetry contest, The Domestic Violence Shelter is collaborating with LeapYear Studios for a short film project in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The film, titled “Symbol of Strength”, began filming on December 2nd. Local teens are participating in the creation of this film both behind and in front of the camera. This endeavor aims to further amplify the voices of teens by exploring teen dating violence through the lens of visual story telling. The start of filming was featured in Richland Source: “Give Voice to People Whose Voice Has Been Taken Away.” The film will be premiered at the Expressions of the Heart Art show on February 27. 

How to Get Involved
Dating violence is a community issue so we encourage the entire community to be a part of this initiative.  Local high school students can get involved by participating in the art and poetry contest. Details can be found at Everyone is invited to attend the Expressions of the Heart: Art Show on February 27 at Bromfield Library at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. Doors will open at 7:30. Advocates are also available to provide education and awareness about Teen Dating Violence for community schools and organizations. Contact if you’d like to get involved!

About Teen Dating Violence and The Domestic Violence Shelter
Millions of teens are affected by teen dating violence each year. Dating violence occurs when one person exerts power and control over their partner. An abusive partner can use multiple tactics to control their partner, including physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, stalking or digital abuse. According to the CDC, about 1 in 11 female teens and 1 in 14 male teens have reported being victims of physical dating violence. No one ever deserves to experience abuse. The Domestic Violence Shelter provides advocacy to all survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. Trained advocates are always available at our 24/7 Crisis Line: 419-774-5840. To learn more about our services and programs, go to

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