In the Headlines
New York teen selected to participate in national campaign to raise awareness about dating abuse through music. Charlie Dane, a 13 year old acoustic guitarist from Oyster Bay, Long Island, was selected to be one of seven young people to participate in PAVE (Preventing Abuse and Violence through Education) The Way, a project to raise awareness of teen dating violence. Charlie contributed "Prisoner" to the project because "I felt that being stuck in a situation like this [teen dating violence] is sort of like being a prisoner and if you are a victim of relationship abuse, you need to break out of the chains that keep you from living your life freely. I was inspired by all that I read and learned about this topic."
New York organization offers training for high school students to become activists for social justice and healthy relationships. The Rockland Family Shelter is offering training to local high school students as activists for social change through its Student Activists Ending Dating Abuse (SAEDA) program. The August 2012 training session is open to ninth through 12th grade students. Students will discuss and explore issues of healthy dating relationships, dating abuse, all oppressions and other social justice issues.
Oregon governor tells high school males that they can help end dating, domestic violence. Oregon governor Paul LePage spoke with the football team of Cheverus High School about how men can help end domestic violence by making it socially unacceptable. He told the teenage boys to be on alert for incidents of domestic violence and to be in control of their own actions. The talk is the first of similar school visits that are being planned around the state and is part of his crusade to bring the issue of domestic violence to the forefront.
High rates of violent acts, including sexual assault, reported in North Carolina-area schools. The domestic violence advisory board reported that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have a high rate of violence in schools including sexual violence. There were 40 reports of sexual assaults, 30 of which involved middle schoolers with the highest reports coming from the 9th grade.The board found that education on domestic violence is limited to a one hour health class in 7th grade.
Dating violence education advocate crowned Ms. America International 2012. Carla Gonzalez from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was crowned Ms. America® International 2012. A motivational speaker, Carla travels to schools throughout Oklahoma giving educational presentations on anti-bullying, Internet safety and teen dating violence. For more than five years, she has visited schools crusading against bullying and teen dating violence, educating the youth to help prevent such violence.
New York State considers law reducing sentences for domestic violence victims charged with murdering their abusers. The proposed Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act would give New York State judges the option to consider lesser prison sentences or alternatives to incarceration for survivors who kill their intimate partners after suffering repeated abuse. One of the strongest advocates of the bill, Kim Dadou, shares how she spent 17 years in prison for killing her abusive partner and why she supports this bill.
Connecticut state legislature moving to pass stronger law to protect domestic violence victims and improve legal procedures regarding abusers. The proposed Domestic Violence Bill 5548 is expected to be passed into law during this session of the General Assembly. It gives family violence victims greater support from the courts, law enforcement agencies, and court-based victim service providers. One strength of the proposed law is that it broadens the definition of family violence by going beyond the traditional understanding of abuse as purely physical, said a local attorney.
Rhode Island lawmakers seek to revise Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to include dating violence protections for teens. The push to revise the law derives from a concern that rates of dating violence in the community are increasing. Clinical psychologist Barry Plummer discussed how dating violence appears to be a growing problem only because teens are becoming more aware of the warning signs of abuse and what to expect in a healthy relationship. Click here to read US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse' piece on the SMART Prevention Act, the VAWA provision to provide domestic violence education for youth.
Israeli researchers find childhood abuse linked to troubles in adult romantic relationships. According to researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, individuals who experience Childhood Emotional Maltreatment (CEM) are more likely to have troubled romantic relationships in adult years because it foments self-criticism, causing a deleterious effect on romantic relationships. "Over time, this tendency might be consolidated, becoming a defining part of a person's personality, and ultimately derailing relationships in general and romantic relationships in particular," explained one of the researchers.
Rhode Island study finds increased likelihood of risky sexual behaviors in women who have experienced violence. Researcher from the Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine in Rhode Island found that women who've been through difficult experiences -- from witnessing neighborhood crimes to being abused themselves -- are more likely to have unprotected sex and a high number of sexual partners. "Our results show that many women must cope with multiple forms of violence, and that some combinations of violent experiences put women at risk for HIV, other STDs or unplanned pregnancy – not to mention the risks from the violence itself," said the lead author.
Oregon editors say everyone must be aware of warning signs and be proactive to end dating abuse. "As parents, grandparents and community members, we should be mindful of warning signs that can signal an abusive relationship. When a victim is entangled in an abusive situation, mustering the courage to leave is difficult. To rescue abused teens from these unhealthy relationships, loved ones need to be alert and, more importantly, willing to act." Read the article that inspired this piece here.
Florida organization discusses link between self-esteem and healthy relationships. "The connection between low self-esteem and unhealthy (or even abusive) relationships is well-documented by researchers. Parents and guardians and other authority figures are encouraged to act as positive role models, help stop negative self-images, and improve confidence and security among adolescents."
Ohio organization holds walk-a-thon to encourage friends to intervene when they see bullying, teen dating violence. Operation Keepsake, an organization that provides healthy relationship programming in the Cleveland area, is specifically targeting friends of teen-dating violence or bullying victims with their event: Friends 4 Friends Campaign Walk-A-Thon. "If a victim can go to a friend, that is very powerful. As a friend, you can't make their choice for them, but if they confide in you, you can empower them," said a local police official in support of this initiative.
Exhibition launches a Florida girls' organization's campaign to promote the well-being of girls. The youth photo voice project "See It Our Way: Community Impacts of Teen Dating Violence" aimed to promote critical dialogue using photographs, group discussion and reflection to explore and act collectively on issues around community health and well-being. This exhibit officially launched youth organization Urgent Inc.'s teen advocacy campaign, "She Kept the Bra On!: The Campaign for Girls Well Being".
California college seniors raise awareness of dating abuse and fundraise for local organization. Five students from Pepperdine University, together with a child social services organization, Interface, hosted a Domestic Violence Week on campus and raised funds for the Family Violence Response Team, an organization serving victims of family violence in Ventura County. The week culminated with a "Convo" presentation on campus about domestic violence and spirituality, presented by a Pepperdine chaplain and Interface's executive director.
California police department holds event to educate community about dating abuse. The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department of Santa Clara County, CA is presenting a free workshop on dating violence. According to the official press release, "The workshop provides an opportunity for teenagers, families and supporters to learn about early signs of domestic and teen violence, how the system works in terms of reporting abuse, and how to obtain services and resources needed to stop the abuse." California teens traveled to Boston to participate in a dating violence prevention training.
Dating abuse foundation president speaks at county police department event to highlight importance of dating abuse education. The Domestic Violence Liaison with the Baltimore County Police Department has asked Kristin Mitchell Foundation President Bill Mitchell to share his daughter's story at a specialized training session on Domestic Violence and Teen Dating Violence. The goal of the event is to inform the audience, consisting mainly of law enforcement and victim advocates, the importance of teaching teens that any form of violence is unacceptable.