Powerful Short Film Depicts Abuse In Teen Dating

by Lara Rutherford-Morrison

On Tuesday, the One Love Foundation released a short film titled “Love Labyrinth” to educate young adults about the signs of relationship abuse. The powerful video highlights the emotional complexity of abuse and emphasizes how easy it is to become trapped within a poisonous cycle of manipulation and mistreatment with a romantic partner. It shows how small, seemingly insignificant issues — a little possessiveness here, a little jealousy there, all in the name of “love” — can escalate into violence.

One in three women and one in four men will experience relationship violence in their lifetime. Young adults and teens are especially vulnerable, with young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experiencing relationship violence at nearly triple the rate of the national average. And yet, many people in this age bracket aren’t equipped to recognized abusive situations, in their own relationships or those of the people around them. Among college students, 57 percent report that it’s difficult to identify signs of relationship violence, and 58 percent say that they wouldn’t know how to help if they did see abuse. The One Love Foundation hopes to change these numbers by educating young people about the early signs of relationship violence, and empowering them to act when they see signs of abuse.

“Love Labyrinth” is part of the One Love Foundation’s #ThatsNotLove campaign. The campaign seeks to educate people about the ways that abusers often use their supposed “love” as a weapon to manipulate, confuse, and isolate their partners. #ThatsNotLove suggests that, although possessive, overbearing behavior can sometimes look like intense romantic passion from the outside, it’s not really about love at all — it’s about control.

The One Love Foundation was founded in honor of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old lacrosse player who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2010. Dedicated to preventing other young people from experiencing similar violence, the One Love Foundation hosts workshops all over the country to educate college students about the signs of relationship violence and what to do when they witness it. To learn more about the One Love Foundation and how to get involved, visit the organization’s website.

Images: YouTube (2)