Blog: One Voice

Teen Dating Abuse Weekly News: DOJ grants $1M to aid ME domestic abuse survivors.


In the Headlines

Department of Justice grants $1 million grant to aid survivors of domestic violence in Maine. Maine will receive $1,031,839 through the Department of Justice's STOP Violence Against Women Program. STOP is an acronym for Services, Training, Officers, Prosecution. The program's aim is to implement and improves victim-centered law enforcement, prosecution, and court strategies to address violent crimes against women and to improve services for victims.


Reports of domestic violence incidents rise in a South Carolina town. Law enforcement agents and other officials have seen a dramatic spike in the number of criminal domestic violence incidents in the Oconee County area. "In this day of high unemployment and the stress that job loss can bring, we are seeing an increase," said Rhonda Morgan, victim's advocate in the Oconee County Sheriff's Office.


Sex crimes increase in Northern California university town. There has been a rise in the number of reported sex crimes in the area around the University of California, Berkeley. Over the years, the university police have adopted such measures as crime alerts to students, installation of emergency phones (with lights), and student escorts for students; student health services include counseling for victims and fall semester trainings. Still, sex crimes burgeon near urban universities.


Medical students in US and Canada receive too little LGBTQ-sensitivity training, including matters on intimate partner violence. A survey of deans of medical schools in the U.S. and Canada found that approximately 5 hours is the median (midpoint) amount of time in the medical school curriculum assigned to topics associated to health care needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients. LGBT individuals have specific health and health care needs relating to among others, unhealthy relationships (e.g., intimate partner violence), gender identity, and sexually transmitted infections and are more likely to face barriers accessing appropriate medical care, which may create or increase existing disparities.


Australian aid agency says violence against women in the Pacific undermines the progress of the region.  Levels of violence against women in parts of the Pacific are "horrific" and must be addressed if development is to have any chance in the Pacific region, said the head of Anglicord, an Australian aid agency, adding that "the horrific levels of physical violence against women in our region are a manifestation of a systematic discrimination that prevents women from being able to fulfill their potential."


Kiribati President sole Pacific leader to accept petition to stop violence against women in the region.  Kiribati President Anote Tong took a step forward in recognizing the endemic issue of sexual and gender-based violence in the Pacific, with his acceptance of Amnesty International's 21,000 plus petition on behalf of his country. To date, Tong is the sole Pacific head to accept the petition which calls on Pacific leaders to make their countries safe and secure for women.


Organization of Canadian service providers launches online resource library for survivors of abuse. The Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee is a group of service providers that practice an integrated, proactive and effective response to domestic violence within the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton region. The committee has launched an online resource library at with information about domestic violence, elder and child abuse.



Legal Matters

Liz Claiborne petitions US President to pass federal legislation for dating violence education in schools. Love Is Not Abuse., Liz Claiborne's initiative to prevent teen dating violence has set up a petition to urge the President of the United States to pass the Stop Abuse for Every Teen Act a.k.a. SAFE Teen Act (H.R.2689/S.1447), a bill that will boost education and awareness about teen dating violence in schools.


Changes in North Carolina marriage law could affect ability of domestic abuse victims in same-sex couples to seek justice. The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence came out against an anti-LGBT marriage amendment in the state legislature, warning that a similar constitutional change in Ohio wreaked havoc with its laws protecting people — married or unmarried — in domestic violence (DV) cases. In Ohio, the DV law protected unmarried folks who lived together "as if married," but of course, once the state constitution said that the only "union" that state law could recognize as valid was a marriage between a man and a woman, that part of the DV law was ruled unconstitutional.



A National Institutes of Health report finds low birth weight for children of women who experience violence during pregnancy. Pregnant women who are assaulted by an intimate partner are at increased risk of giving birth to infants of reduced weight, according to a population-level analysis of domestic violence supported by the National Institutes of Health. Infants born to women who were hospitalized for injuries received from an assault during their pregnancies weighed, on average, 1/3 pound less than did infants born to women who were not hospitalized, the study found. Assaults in the first trimester were associated with the largest decrease in birth weight.


A National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report finds violence in same-sex relationships a major problem, especially among women. According to a 2008 report released by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 67 percent of the reported incidences of domestic abuse in the gay community came from lesbians or gay men. The report said that "with increased violence at the hands of intimate partners and of the police, and increasingly diverse communities seeking services, increased cultural competency in mainstream institutions and the continued presence of LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs are needed now more than ever."


McMaster University study looks at effectiveness of the knowledge translation and exchange processes of domestic violence research to public policy. The Violence Against Women Research Program in McMaster University evaluated the utility of specific knowledge translation and exchange strategies, including a series of workshops and a day-long Family Violence Knowledge Exchange Forum, on research-sharing, uptake, and use. The study found that participants valued the opportunity to meet with researchers, provide feedback on key messages, and make personal connections with other stakeholders.



Mexican Youth Institute regards teen dating violence as one of the top global sexual health concerns. "Teen dating violence is another problem that belongs to the current sexual health panorama. According to a 2007 Survey conducted by the Mexican Youth Institute, 76 percent of young people have experienced some kind of psychological violence in their romantic relationship."


Florida editors ask victims of relationship violence to speak up, regardless of gender. "As tragic as the death of a Florida A&M University student and star women's basketball player is, it is a striking reminder that domestic violence is just as prevalent among people in same-sex relationships as it is in heterosexual bonds. But too often, people involved in same-sex relationships find it a struggle to let such incidents surface, fearing negative reactions from the public."


Florida service provider points out that dating violence is not just something that happens to adults but teens as well. "Teen dating violence can happen to any teen from any walk of life. It is a pattern of violent behavior — physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and/or financial abuse — that someone uses against a partner. By knowing the warning signs, you can help the children in your life avoid the violence or seek the help they need to escape the abuse."



An American dentistry foundation launches program to restore smiles of domestic violence survivors. Give Back a Smile (GBAS) is a program which restores damaged smiles for survivors of domestic violence. It is offered by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation (AACDCF) in anticipation of October, which marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Volunteer dentists and laboratory technicians agree to restore broken and damaged teeth of survivors of intimate partner violence.


Memorial fund for dating abuse victim launches poster contest. The Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund is announced its 2012 Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Poster Contest for Rhode Island middle and high school students. The poster contest is intended to raise awareness of teen dating violence during the month of February. This year's high school theme is "Warning Signs of Dating Abuse," focusing on one or more of the warning signs. This year's middle school theme is "Qualities of a Healthy Relationship," focusing on one or more qualities of a healthy relationship.


Arizona victim center holds presentation on dangers of dating.  In an ongoing effort to reduce domestic violence, a program to raise the awareness of the dangers of dating, entitled "Out of Children's Mouths ... Let's Stop What I Hear", will be presented with information on how people can protect themselves and their children. The program will include such topics as teen dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and domestic violence to inform parents and teenagers what can happen when dating today.


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