In the Headlines
Dating abuse programs target younger students. While most dating abuse education programs are provided for high school and college students, a recent study found that need for these programs emerge as early as middle school: 15% of surveyed seventh-graders reported experiencing physical abuse in their relationships. Organizations like Start Strong Idaho and Men Can Stop Rape have programs aimed at educating youth early to prevent abuse in their relationships.
New York activist photographer launches campaign to support domestic violence survivors. Donna Ferrato has been working against domestic violence for years: publishing photos of domestic violence, organizing, speaking publicly, counseling and even offering victims shelter at her New York City apartment. She has started a new, uplifting campaign called "I Am Unbeatable" that celebrates women who have successfully left their abusers and forged new lives for themselves and their children.
New Jersey women's group makes dating abuse education video available to local schools. The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex, launched "Crossing the Line," a new educational video on teen dating abuse awareness and prevention, which adds to its Teen Dating Abuse program to fulfill the N.J. Department of Education requirement to incorporate such education into the health curriculum.
Idaho organization presents healthy relationship workshop to high schools students and their parents. Start Strong Idaho, a program of Idaho's Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence brought together parents and teens to discuss how best to foster healthy relationships. A crew from ABC News' Nightline program attended Tuesday's workshop and will feature the coalition's efforts in an upcoming broadcast.
Make-up artist collaborates with domestic violence organization to produce PSA urging women not to cover up domestic abuse. In partnership with domestic violence organization Refuge, Lauren Luke, a makeup artist famous for her YouTube how-to videos, produced a powerful awareness tool with her new video, which includes a mock demonstration of how to conceal strangle marks with a well-placed scarf and cover up a bruise with the right shade of foundation - in case you've been "pushed hard against a coffee table." The campaign aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and urge women to report abuse. Watch the video.
Top British prosecutor says Internet pornography is linked to increase in teen relationship violence. Teenage relationships are becoming increasing violent due to the prevalence of internet pornography, according to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK. Experts, including child psychologists, have warned that teenagers are engaging in increasingly risky and extreme sexual behavior after viewing porn. The material had skewed their perceptions of what a normal, healthy sexual relationship involved. Teenage girls were also complaining that their partners were becoming increasingly rough or violent.
New York Governor signs cyberbullying protection legislation into law. A new law in New York State will help protect students from cyberbullying as well as other forms of harassment, bullying, and discrimination. Schools are now required to take immediate action when students experience cyberbullying or other forms of harassment. The legislation also establishes improved training to help teachers and administrators better prevent and respond to bullying and other harmful acts.
Study finds US high schools ill-equipped to prevent or address dating violence among their students. Researchers from Indiana surveyed 550 high school counselors about their training and ability to deal with teen dating violence. Over 81 percent of the respondents said their school had no protocol for responding to dating violence. Ninety percent said there had been no related staff training in the previous two years, and more than 75 percent said their school had no committee that dealt with health and safety issues including dating abuse or healthy relationships. Yet the majority of counselors (61 percent) said they had had occasion to advise a victim of dating violence in the previous two years.
Analysis of intimate partner and sexual violence study finds rape more common than smoking in the US. In December 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey which raised awareness of the pervasiveness of rape in the country. Signficance Magazine compared these rates to smoking and found that rape had overtaken smoking as a problem for women: 18.3% of women over 18 reported being sexual assaulted in their lifetime compared to 17.4% of women who reported smoking.
Research finds US Asians unlikely to seek help after domestic abuse. According to a study published in the research journal Violence Against Women, Asian victims used mental health services only 5.3 percent of the time, while Latino victims used them 14.6 percent of the time. Another study featured in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, shows that Asian victims of domestic violence are at least four times less likely to use mental health services than whites, blacks, or Latinos. According to Hyunkag Cho, assistant professor of social work at Michigan State University, while cultural barriers can discourage Asian-American victims of domestic abuse from seeking help, a lack of culturally sensitive services also contribute to this trend.
A Massachusetts city counselor says preventing domestic violence must be a community focus and priority. "What is clear to me is that the work to end intimate partner violence, build healthy relationships and foster peace cannot be achieved without a true community-wide effort. Our humanity and decency, and not headlines or tragedy, should be the only impetus we need to end violence."
Arizona organization to hold local celebrity-studded fundraiser. Kaity's Way, a dating violence education organization, was started by Bobbi and Ric Sudberry in memory of their daughter who was murdered by an abusive boyfriend. Their upcoming fundraiser, patterned after the hit show 'Dancing with the Stars,' will feature local television and sports celebrities who will compete to raise funds to support the organization's education workshops.
Louisiana shelter holds safe dating seminar for teen girls. Faith House, a crisis shelter for women and children, presented a safe dating seminar entitled "Love Is… Safe Dating" for girls aged 12 - 17. The attendees were also provided a detailed handbook which included safe dating games and valuable information on what to look for and how to keep safe.
Massachusetts community holds vigil and discussion in honor of slain dating violence victim. The Wayland community held a candlelight vigil in memory of the one-year anniversary of the killing of a local teen, Lauren Astely, by an abusive boyfriend. After the vigil, a group discussion on teenage dating violence will be hosted by the head of a local domestic violence prevention agency.
New Jersey women's group honored for domestic violence, teen dating violence awareness work. For its work supporting organizations that assist victims of domestic abuse and helping raise awareness of the issue, the GFWC Vernon Township Woman's Club was honored for its work against domestic violence by the NJ State Federation of Women's Clubs. With occurrences of teen dating violence on the rise, the club took on the challenge of heightening awareness among teenage girls, distributing materials outlining the warning signs of dating violence in the local high school, library and three churches.