Relationships 101: Family Matters

Part 3: Family Matters

[box_dark]In this third and final segment of a three-part series on relationships, two writers from The kNOw focus on the strengths of family and overcoming abuse. Part 1 of the series focuses on the power of friendship through the years, finding a friend in the opposite sex, and friends who help break down walls. Part 2 is on love – everything from the good to the bad. [/box_dark]

Family Strength
I am not too experienced in relationships in terms of boyfriend/girlfriend, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced other forms of relationships. My relationship with girlfriends have long been unfamiliar since I have been single for more than over three years, but I have a strong sense of family, friends, and a self-relationship. My family and I are very close since we are in an economic crunch. My two brothers and I are almost inseparable but we are totally different from one another, so there are always differences. Our differences may lead to arguments but in the end we always compromise, which draws us closer.
-Peter, 16


Learning From The Good And The Bad
I have had many relationships, good and bad ones. Over the years, the good and the bad relationships have shaped me into the person I am today. One of my good relationships is with my mom. We talk about everything. She is my role model and hero. She has always tried to be there for me and my other five siblings. When I have a problem I can go to her for advice. She is a leader in my eyes. She only tries to do well and learn from her own mistakes.

Another good relationship I have is with my family at The kNOw. I have been with The kNOw for almost two years now and I have grown close to all my team members. They have encouraged me to open up and express myself. They have taught me to be myself and not let anyone hurt or put me down.

I feel safe with both these relationships, and it’s a great feeling for me because I have not felt like this in a very long time, or ever.

But I have had many bad relationships. In the past, one of my uncles has hurt me in a way that I thought and believed a family member shouldn’t. He abused me physically, emotionally, and sexually. My uncle told me that it was my fault because I was a girl. He made me scared so I didn’t tell anyone because he threatened to hurt me more and he said no one would believe me. It was his word against mine.

Another bad relationship is with my step dad. He did the same thing to me, and much more worse. He has beat my mom in front of me, punched me in my head and so on. Both of these relationships have made me not want to trust a man or boy unless they are my brothers. These relationships make me scared to trust family members who are older than me.

Of all the relationships I’ve had, the good ones are the ones who have helped me overcome the bad and to take chances. The good relationships are still going strong right now in my life and I am glad that I have found a lot of people who are my friends, family, and adopted family, and who won’t hurt me. I thank them for shaping me into the person I am today.
-Chanda, 20

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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