Each year Youville Centre students participate in a conference called “In Love…and In Danger”. Founded and organized by Family Services Ottawa, this event brings teenagers from across the city together to discuss the topic of dating violence. From the Family Services Ottawa website:

In Love…and In Danger believes that teens are part of the solution when it comes to reducing dating violence. In Love and In Danger was developed as a collaboration between Family Services à la famille Ottawa, the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to address the rising concern about dating violence among youth and as much as possible, to stop the violence before it begins. At the conferences, youth come together and learn about the indicators of abusive behaviour, the warning signs, the role of the media, and how to create healthy relationships. The conferences address dating violence, violence in the family, woman abuse, violence in the media, and violence in diverse communities.


Over the years, young moms from Youville Centre have presented at the conference, telling their own personal stories and sharing their experiences with dating violence. This has allowed them to raise awareness among their peers, and to gain confidence and strength by telling their stories. Last year, one of our students shared her story, and she did such an excellent job of presenting, they asked her to co-MC the event this year. In her own words:

This year I had the wonderful opportunity to be an MC for the Fall 2015 In Love…and In Danger Conference (ILID). ILID is about abusive relationships and teen dating violence, and it is an  interactive way to inform young people on the dangers and warning signs of abusive relationships, and give them a safe place to ask questions, get information, and even possibly seek help. Last year I was a speaker at the conference and I told my story of teen dating violence, but this year I played a much larger role. I had a lot of fun, and being so involved in such an amazing project is a fantastic memory I will hold close to my heart throughout the years to come. ILID gives these students much more than information and support; it gives them hope.~Donya, Youville Centre student.

ILID-6 As we are very proud of each and every one of our young moms, we are especially proud when they have an opportunity to reach out to their peers about important issues like dating violence. “I felt so proud of Donya watching her help lead the conference. It was an amazing opportunity for her to grow and build her leadership skills”, said Jessica, one of Youville’s Intensive Treatment Support Workers.

Great job, Donya!

To learn more about In Love and In Danger, please click here.