Taking action to protect teenagers from dangerous, even deadly relationships. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and one valley mother is launching a social media campaign, hoping to transform her family’s tragedy into a national movement for change.
“She's always been a part of me and even moreso now,” said Bobbi Sudberry.
A sidewalk memorial is one of many reminders that Bobbi’s daughter Kaity is still very much a part of the Phoenix neighborhood she called home. It’s now been eight years since the 17-year-old high school senior was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend just yards from her house. A horrific end to an abusive relationship after her family tried so desperately to protect her.
“You want to curl up and die with them, you really do,” said Sudberry.
That grief eventually gave birth to a new mission in life. Kaity’s room is now serving as headquarters for the growing non-profit “Kaity’s Way.” It educates parents, kids and even abusers about the dangers of teen dating violence.
“The most dangerous time for the victim in an abusive relationship, is when that relationship is ending,” Sudberry said.
That is the message the Sudberrys want to go viral. They’ve launched a brand new social media campaign featuring selfies tagged with #KWPeaceout. A way to help young people say “P.E.A.C.E. Out” to dating violence through patience, empathy, acceptance, caring and equality. It’s also a way to make sure Kaity’s legacy lives on.
“She was always a great listener, and she's still a great listener,” Sudberry said. “I consider her one of my angels and it's very important to me to know that she's still there.”