TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some Troy High School students are helping the State roll out a new awareness campaign. It’s to help their peers recognize the signs of teen dating abuse.

Teens at Troy High School are using conversation hearts as a way to open a broader conversation on teen dating violence.

The hearts mimic those heart-shaped candies we share on Valentine’s Day, but instead of traditional sweet nothings, they contain expressions of negativity and control.

“These have to do with controlling relationships, we are basically saying respect is love,” said senior Madeline Brown.

Troy High School students in the Women as Voices and Educators, or WAVE Club, created the hearts as part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. They write positive messages on other paper hearts to counter the negative ones.

“If you start early then I guess it helps when you get into adulthood,” said senior Julian Foy.

The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence chose Troy High School as the backdrop for their ‘Control isn’t Love’ social media campaign. It’s #ControlIsntLove because they were impressed with the work the WAVE Club does in helping their peers.

“We know that relationship abuse starts as soon as a relationship starts so we found that kids in the age group of 14-18 are as subject to abuse in those relationships as older people are,” said Gwen Wright. “So, we want to get to them early. “

The statewide ‘Control Isn’t Love’ campaign on Instagram and Facebook targets younger audiences and their mothers. It will appear online throughout the month of February.