Adolescents and young adults are at an especially high risk for dating violence, and this topic is very important to us. We have published multiple articles on the topic, and many of our prevention and treatment textbooks such as Violence Against Women and Intimate Partner Violence contain chapters on Adolescent Dating Violence. Our spotlight today is on One Love, a movement advocating for widespread awareness of the early signs of dating violence.
One Love was founded in 2010 after college senior and lacrosse player Yeardley Love was killed by her ex-boyfriend three weeks before her projected graduation date. Yeardley’s mother, Sharon Love, writes on the website: “As I dropped Yeardley off in Charlottesville each year, my biggest concern was that she may be injured on the lacrosse field or, even worse, be hurt in a car accident. Relationship violence was never on my radar screen; I had no idea that relationship abuse affects 1 in 3 women in her lifetime.”
Since then, Sharon has dedicated her time to keeping others aware of these statistics and risks, providing easy-to-understand information about the signs of dating violence, and encouraging others to step up when the signs begin to surface. Her foundation, One Love, aims to reach this goal using short videos starring the cartoon “couplets” that simplify the precursors to abuse and distinguish between healthy romantic behavior, and warning signs of abuse.
Supporters of One Love have popularized their hashtag #ThatsNotLove on Twitter, using it to share behavior or phrases that might be common in relationships but are unhealthy and indicative of further abuse in order to help spread awareness and encourage others to step up if they witness this kind of behavior.