In the Headlines
New York City Council approves funding to develop an anti-sexual harassment smartphone app. $20,000 in city funding has been approved for development of a mobile-phone application to fight sexual harassment on the streets and subways. It will be developed by the creators of hollabacknyc.com, a website that asks people to use camera phones to take a photo or video of harassment and post it online. Award-winning dating violence prevention smartphone app "Circle of 6" continues to gain popularity.
Friend's abusive relationship inspires Michigan teen's song for pop music contest aimed at raising awareness of dating violence. Dymond Harding, a 15 year old from Ypsilanti, Michigan 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. Harding's friend, a victim of physical and mental abuse, was part of the inspiration behind Harding's contribution, "Selfish Love."
Primetime TV show 'Glee' addresses difficulty and struggle of domestic violence survivors. In a recent episode, Character Coach Bieste (Dot Marie Jones) admits that her husband hit her during a fight. One critic noted that the intense scene sent a very strong message: being physically or emotionally abused by a spouse or intimate partner is not okay. "Jones captures the fear, shame and despair associated with domestic abuse to a heartbreaking fault."
British law enforcement focuses on addressing teen dating abuse. Teenage girls are the group most at risk from violent relationships, according to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK. The official leading police efforts against domestic abuse stated that a training program is being developed to help officers understand the impact their actions have when they are called to dating abuse incidents. They are also working to change the definition of domestic abuse to include young people as young as 16 making them eligible for protective orders.
Co-sponsor of Violence Against Women Act reauthorization to add provision that addresses teen dating violence. According to the office of Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the senator is proposing a provision in the Violence Against Women Act that would address teen dating violence. It would establish a new grant program for youth domestic violence education and support programs to train youth mentors. The Senate version of VAWA preserved the Republican-contested protections for LGBT victims. The US Attorney General lauded the Senate's passage of the bill. A columnist argues that "failure to pass the Senate version of VAWA sends a message that in 21st century America, it's OK to violently beat and abuse certain groups of people." The Washington Post urges passage of VAWA, saying bipartisan support should not "fall prey to presidential politics and the increasing stridency concerning which party best represents women's issues."
Research from the National Institute of Justice suggests that victims of stalking may also face economic instability. A study from the National Institute of Justice found that victims have been unable to take advantage of employment opportunities and to work productively due to stalking. Research also illustrates the costs to society of intimate partner stalking, estimating an amount of $343 million in 2003 for lost productivity and mental health care needed.
Centers of Disease Control study finds higher incidence of sexually transmitted infection among young female survivors of intimate partner violence. Researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and found that young women who were victims of intimate partner violence were more likely to have sexually transmitted infections (STI). The authors noted that these female victims also have a higher prevalence of STI risk behaviors, compared to women in nonviolent relationships, and should therefore be considered for STI screening.
Maryland and Virginia nursing schools to investigate whether domestic abuse reporting increases with use of digital technology. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland received funding from the National Institutes of Health to find whether pregnant women more likely to admit they're victims of domestic violence to a computer rather than a querying human. The study will also explore whether a tablet computer may be a better route to encourage abused women to get help in a safer, more expeditious manner.
A columnist tells parents to be aware of dating violence, especially for girls and young women. "Parents, dating violence exists! Make positively sure you discuss this possibility with your daughter. Open and honest parent and teen discussions are very important for your daughter's safety."
Dating violence education initiatives are occurring across the country. An Oregon youth services coordinator helped high school students understand the cycle of abuse and how to better support victims. A West Virginia middle school pilots a teen dating violence education and prevention program. An Idaho organization complements their dating abuse education initiatives with contests and events. A Wisconsin county features dating violence in their community forums. A Florida survivor's college service project educates teens about dating violence. A California university partners with local police to educate teens and community about bullying and dating abuse. A Georgia county task force highlights teen dating abuse in a community seminar.
New Jersey rock music show raises money to benefit domestic and teen dating violence outreach program. Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.), an organization that provides support to 'at risk' women and children of domestic violence, hosted a fundraiser in Montclair, New Jersey, showcasing local and studio recording bands.
Missouri organization hosts local fashion show to highlight the use of technology in dating abuse. The Lighthouse Shelter, which serves domestic violence abuse victims, hosted a fashion show where attendees were able to view discount fashions from a local company while getting educated on dating violence, particularly abusive behaviors using technology. University of Texas and Baylor University also co-hosted a fashion show and gala to raise awareness on teen dating violence.
California high school boys participate in a walk to encourage peers to sign petition supporting awareness of domestic abuse. Wearing women's jeans and heels, boys from Montclair High School held a race appropriately named "A Day in Her Shoes" to raise awareness on the issue. The participants also agreed to wear a white ribbon, symbolizing the fight against domestic violence, on their upcoming prom night.
Tennessee church holds vigil for dating and domestic violence victims. The First Presbyterian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee organized a candlelight vigil honoring victims and survivors of dating and domestic violence in conjunction with National Crime Victim's Awareness Week. In advance of the event, East Tennessee State University nursing students helped promote awareness of domestic violence and fundraised on campus while a sorority worked on a teen dating violence awareness campaign.