In the Headlines
Domestic violence in New York City up 12.3%. Reported domestic violence cases in New York City skyrocketed by 12.3% in the city last year, with Brooklyn reporting the most cases among the five boroughs. Law enforcement officials said a big reason for the increases citywide was a 2008 change that expands access to civil orders of protection: the new law covers those in an "intimate relationship," including teens; gays and lesbians, and people in dating relationships.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs domestic violence firearm protection legislation. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law to ensure that individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors will be barred from legally purchasing firearms. "We have seen too often the tragic consequences of domestic violence. This new law provides further safeguards to keep firearms away from those with violent records," Governor Cuomo said, adding "New York state must stand strong against domestic violence by protecting victims and making sure those convicted of such crimes cannot inflict further damage."
Screening and counseling for domestic violence recommended for inclusion in patient protection bill. A new report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that 8 preventive health services for women be added to the services that health plans will cover at no cost to patients under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). On the inclusion of domestic violence services, one expert said that the health and financial impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) is vast and widespread, indicating that any plan designed to strengthen screening and intervention efforts is a welcome addition.
World Health Organization holds workshop on violence against women for Western Pacific nations. The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific collaborated with WHO Headquarters and Partners for Prevention to organize a three day workshop in Manila, Philippines to promote a better understanding of intimate partner and sexual violence, with a special emphasis on the importance of primary prevention and improved program planning.
A smartphone application simulating dating abuse to be released. Liz Claiborne's 'Love Is Not Abuse' dating and domestic violence advocacy initiative will release an iPhone app which demonstrates exactly how damaging digital dating abuse can be. Among other things, the app will expose a user to increasingly menacing texts, emails, and phone calls similar to those a victim of relationship abuse may experience.
Virginia advocates seek approval of automobile license plate fundraising for domestic abuse. The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, along with members of the General Assembly and private sector partners announced an initiative to get a special auto license plate approved for fund-raising. A portion of the cost of the plate is to go to aid programs designed to prevent sexual and domestic violence. Virginia Delegate Dr. John O'Bannon says he'll introduce legislation for a special Virginia license plate during the 2012 General Assembly session.
Louisiana advocacy group fills gap in materials for unfunded state mandate for dating abuse education. NextSTEP was established in 2006 to help battered women and their children. It provides education and training change attitudes about domestic violence and make Central Louisiana a healthier, safer place to live. Since the state mandate-which is unfunded, meaning schools must rely on grant opportunities or private donations- NextSTEP has produced a collection of educational material for students in Rapides Parish.
Federal legislation addressing teen pregnancy and dating violence among immigrant communities introduced in Congress. The "Communities of Color Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act," HR 2678, recognizes that a broader approach is needed to address teen pregnancy in communities of color, including the role coercion and violence plays in unintended pregnancy, and invests in getting young people of color the information and skills they need to build healthy relationships. The bill was introduced by U.S. Representative and Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Task Force, Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
Jewish women's group supports introduction of federal legislation aimed at prevention of and education about teen dating abuse. Jewish Women International gave their support to the recently introduced Stop Abuse For Every Teen Act or SAFE Teen Act. "Jewish Women International commends Senator Crapo, Senator Whitehouse, Congresswoman Moore, and Congressman Reichert for their leadership in recognizing the vital importance of ending teen dating violence," said JWI's Executive Director Loribeth Weinstein. "We believe that SAFE Teen Act is a vital step in preventing dating abuse and stopping violence against women and girls." The National Women's Law Center also supports the bill.
Australian researchers find increased risk for mental illness, mental and physical disability and poorer quality of life among women who experience violence. Women who have suffered from gender-based violence are more likely to develop anxiety disorders or other mental health issues, experience physical and mental disabilities, and have worse quality of life than other women, according to research from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The risk for these long-term problems increased with the intensity of abuse.
A Columbia University study finds a correlation between mental health problems and intimate partner violence. Researchers collected data from married, recently married or adults in a romantic relationship in the past year on the incidence of intimate partner violence. They found that psychiatric disorders were significantly more common among those who had experience violence, leading the researchers to conclude that intimate partner violence is common, and victimization, especially if recurrent, markedly increases the risk for developing several psychiatric disorders.
A physician discusses the appearance of domestic violence in the Harry Potter series. "If you're a Harry Potter fanatic and have read the all the books several times, you already know that Severus Snape's father was a batterer. If you are a more casual reader, you may have forgotten. If you've only seen the movies, you wouldn't know."
Service provider urges everyone in the community to help end dating abuse, lauds SAFE Teen Act. "Our faith communities, schools, government and extended families need to do more to help our young people build healthy dating relationships. It came as a great surprise to me last week when Idaho Senator Mike Crapo co-sponsored the SAFE Teen Act. It's what prompted me to write about this urgent issue. I'm seldom proud of Senator Crapo's voting record, but on this matter- he's a champion."
Summit aims to educate teens how to best handle 'breaking up'. The Teen Breakup Summit, sponsored by the healthy teen relationship group Start Strong, is part of a nationwide effort to fight teen violence. Many teens aren't prepared for tough break-ups, said psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein. Teens who attended the summit said the main lessons they get are from the media - especially from reality TV where MTV hits like "Jersey Shore" and "Teen Mom" provide millions of teens with their only break-up role models. Now, attendees want to spread the message that break-ups can be healthier.
Girl Scouts' New Jersey event highlights healthy media images of women and relationships through workshop series. Women from across the state will be exploring the truth behind media images at the upcoming "Power of Popular" women's conference, with over 200 expected attendees and featuring Emme, the supermodel, television personality and among others, a nationally recognized women's advocate for positive body image and self-esteem, as the keynote speaker. Some of the workshops include dating abuse, media representations of dating relationships and digital and social networking safety.
Connecticut youth program teaches safe dating through theater. MYOthello, a program sponsored by the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership and Mine Yours Ours, aims to address the issue by teaching teens about safe dating. The program's grand finale is a series of three performances, which are a spin-off production of Shakespeare's Othello, to address teen dating violence, said Paige Nelson, Youth INC program director. Othello was chosen because the story line highlights dangerous patterns of abuse that characterize dating violence.
A Los Angeles theater production tackles intimate partner violence. "Street Love Monologues", a play written by author Felicia Nicole, is about two inner-city girls who escape to college but find themselves in abusive relationships that put them on the pathway to abuse and depression. The play is being presented at Mount St. Mary's College and is a Collaboration with "A Window Between Worlds", a non-profit organization dedicated to using art to help end domestic violence.
Winner of Colorado library art competition on teen dating violence announced. Fort Morgan Library/Museum Services displayed the four winning pictures from the SHARE Violence Awareness Poster Contest on teen dating violence at Fort Morgan High School. The first place winner is Jesse Castaneda, 17, and a recent graduate of the high school. His piece is entitled "Stop With Dating Violence".