By Kayla Woody, House of Hope Prevention Specialist

In September, the House of Hope had the pleasure of participating in the second annual Worth It Conference hosted by Community Renewal of Pottawatomie County. This conference is put together by Zoe Loeser and Rachel Monday from Community Renewal. The idea behind Worth It is to empower young women to find identity and worth while supporting fellow female counterparts.

The conference welcomes all girls from sixth to 12th grade and pairs them together with female mentors who encourage and assist them in all aspects of life. This year, with COVID-19 challenges, the conference was held virtually, and groups of five to seven girls were formed around the county with one female mentor per group. The girls were able to participate in breakout sessions that included Conflict & Drama, Body Love, Using your Voice and Ask a Doctor. The House of Hope was able to host another breakout session that included information about healthy relationships and teenage dating violence. Our Prevention Specialist Kayla Woody discussed things like red and green flags in dating, what dating violence looks like and how to safety remove yourself from the relationship as well as how to help a loved one or friend who is experiencing abuse.

When it comes to teens, “nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide, each year, experience physical abuse from their dating partner, and young girls between the ages of 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence,” as stated by Love is Respect also reported that “violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.”

Here at the House of Hope, we see the cycle of abuse and realize that we must start educating these young people about what healthy relationships look like before they become victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Our organization wants to speak to both youth and adults about what abuse looks like, how to prevent abuse and how to start over if someone has been abused. Please feel free to reach out to our prevention specialist if you would like the House of Hope to come speak at your school, church, place of employment or event. I can be reached by phone at 405-275-3176 or

If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, stalking and/or sexual assault and would like more information, please contact House of Hope at 405-275-3176 or visit us online at