LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you see a spike in people wearing orange on Tuesday, there's a good chance it's to help teens in unhealthy relationships know they aren't alone and help is available to them.
Teen relationship violence awareness advocates in Las Vegas say the drive to cover the valley in orange comes in conjunction with National Teen Violence Awareness Month.
"It's so important that we acknowledge that teens are struggling with relationship abuse all 12 months of the year," said Judy Henderson, Nevada Coalition to END Domestic and Sexual Violence training coordinator.
Henderson says one in three teens have been in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, and 1.5 million teens experience physical abuse from a significant other every year in the U.S.
NCEDSV says violent behavior in a relationship normally develops between 6th and 12th grades.
"That really calls attention that we need to do something about addressing the issue and preventing [it]," Henderson said.
"Now is the time to talk about relationship abuse, address it, and get them the support they need."
Henderson says many teens are too inexperienced to know what a healthy relationship looks like, or they've grown up in households where abusive relationships were normalized.
She calls on religious and community leaders to use this opportunity to connect with young people and explain the traits of a healthy relationship so they can identify negative traits in their own lives.
"It needs to be talked about," she said. "They're not alone."
"They need to know that," she added, "because they don't talk to adults about what's happening."