Nonprofits to host teen dating discussion in Belhaven

Published 7:30 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

For teenagers first navigating the world of dating, awkwardness and uncertainty are almost a given. But a discussion hosted by Ruth’s House and Hyde County Hotline at the Belhaven Public Library next week is set to help local teens consider what a healthy relationship looks like.

Jaclyn Cullipher, client services coordinator for Ruth’s House, along with Hyde County Hotline employee Alissa Greer, will host an hour-long discussion at the library from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday. Teens from across the region are invited to participate, and while parents are invited to attend as well, Cullipher says she hopes to see the young people leading the discussion.

“With my approach, I remember being a teenager,” Cullipher said. “You have tons of adults in your face telling you what to do all the time. … When I do these things and talk with the students, it’s a discussion. It’s not telling them or another teaching kind of thing. It’s an open discussion.”

In addition to Hyde County Hotline, Ruth’s House has also partnered with Daughters of Worth, a local nonprofit focused on educating and empowering girls and young women. In preventing issues of domestic violence, starting conversations on healthy relationships early is critical, according to Cullipher.

“We work day in and day out with adults who have been in unhealthy relationships, and prevention is the answer,” she said. “It’s the only way to end this phenomenon — to never get in that situation in the first place.”

Ruth’s House hosts a variety of events for local youth throughout the year, and Cullipher says the nonprofit is always open to hosting sessions for youth, adults and other groups throughout the area.

“If anybody ever wants us to come to their group or wants to talk about any kind of presentation we can do for them, they can contact me directly,” Cullipher concluded. “If anyone is interested in doing a parent’s version, we can set that up too.”

To schedule an awareness event, call the Ruth’s House offices at 252-946-0709. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, call the Ruth’s House help line at 252-940-0007 or the Hyde County Hotline at 252-925-2500. To learn more about the organizations, visit and