As a Chicana, the occasion of Day One’s 15th anniversary puts me in mind of the quinceañera celebrations of my youth. I remember the excitement and the truly overwhelming sense of importance – not at having become a young woman (we had been that for some time by the age of 15) – but at the fact that the world was now ready to recognize us. Just like me and my fellow Latinas at that age, Day One isn’t just now coming into its own power. It has already been a powerful contributor to movement work to end violence against women, girls, transgender and gender-nonconforming people. This is an opportunity for all of us to congratulate and celebrate Day One for all its years of work, and to recognize all the dedicated staff, program participants, board members, and community partners who contributed to its growth. Personally, I have a lot of thanks owed to the organization for my own growth.
There is no denying that sexual misconduct is a deeply rooted problem with far reaching and long lasting effects. And while we might not have the answers to fix what happened in the past, this moment in the #metoo movement can surely provide the grounds for cultivating change now and in the future.
The best way to effectively eradicate a problem as old as history itself? Sex education: Real, science-based, this-is-not-taboo sex ed. Experts have been saying for years that factual sex education can reduce the likelihood of violence and abuse in relationships.
The Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration is proposing a change to the definition of gender, narrowing it to only male or female and making it determined by the genitals an individual was born with. This threatens to harm the already vulnerable trans* community, who as a group experience greater incidences of dating violence. What steps can you take to support the trans* community?
Twenty years ago, my high school boyfriend turned violent for the first time. During an intense argument, he shoved me to the ground and drove off.
At the time, I felt like the push came out of nowhere. But now, after volunteering with Day One and attending their workshops, I know the classic warning signs were there.
No one asks you out on a first date and says “I am going to hit you in six months.” Abusive relationships start the exact same way healthy relationships start. Puppy love. Sweet moments. Flowers, stolen kisses, long phone calls and hand holding.
June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate and take pride in the LGBTQ+ community. It is a time to embrace the diverse orientations and identities that exist in our world and honor the people who struggled throughout history to get us here. And as we commemorate “love is love,” we must also acknowledge the difference between healthy and unhealthy love.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. About 1 in 5 adults experiences some type of mental illness in a given year in the U.S. Sexual assault survivors are included in those numbers and often feel the mental health effects years after an assault. Although a survivor can eventually come to terms with their past and sometimes even receive legal justice, little can protect these men and women from the negative effects on their mental health.
During Sexual Assault Awareness Month it is important, to not only spread the word of the alarming prevalence of sexual assault, but to listen to the voices of survivors as well. Many use their voices to stand up against rape culture and to empower those recovering from similar situations. We encourage survivors to use their Voices Against Violence!
Throughout history, women’s voices have been silenced. Many powerful activists for women’s rights have paved a way for more women to speak out. Recent movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo provide platforms for all people who identify as women and all those who have been abused and harassed to step forward and share their stories. During Women’s History Month, Day One recognizes and celebrates women that began the fight and encouraged each other to stand together against sexual violence and inequality.
When I was in my bad romance in high school (the one my new young adult novel, Bad Romance, is based on), it was hard for me to be honest with my friends and family about what was really going down in my relationship. For one, when your partner is a master of manipulation, it can be hard to know what exactly is going on in the first place. I can’t tell you how many arguments began with me accusing my boyfriend of something, only to end with me apologizing to him. Teen Dating Violence isn’t just physical or sexual abuse: it is often mental, verbal, and emotional.
Here’s a scary thing: one in three teens are affected by dating violence. One in three. I don’t know why this surprises me, since nearly every girl I talk to admits that she’s had an abusive boyfriend or knows someone who was in a bad romance. Maybe she’s with him now, or maybe they broke up ages ago after too much shouting and crying and hurting. Maybe he was emotionally or physically abusive. Maybe he was verbally abusive. Maybe he was just plain mean. Some of my guy friends have had abusive boyfriends or girlfriends, too. It’s kind of ridiculous, how much heartbreak so many of us are willing to put up with just so that we don’t have to be alone.
As a young adult author, my goal when I sit down to write a story from a teen protagonist’s point of view is to present their experiences as authentically as possible, to try to get in the skin of this character and see the world the way she would in 2018. The vast majority of us who write for teens do so because our teen years still resonate deeply with us. Sadly, in many cases this is because we had particularly tough experiences growing up including, in my case, teen dating violence.
Help us celebrate healthy relationships and join us in taking action to spread awareness and prevent dating violence! Here’s an overview of events, trainings and workshops taking place throughout the month.
In my first year of college, I read a lot of Hannah Arendt. She, a 20th century woman political theorist, impressed me greatly, and is sort of the unofficial mascot of my college (she’s even buried in our campus cemetery, alongside her husband Heinrich Blucher). In Constitutional Law, we read her book On Revolution, in which she describes both the American and French revolutions, claiming the former to be successful and the latter to be unsuccessful.
The holiday season is stressful for many people, but getting through the holidays while experiencing abuse, encountering a past abuser, or witnessing a loved one suffer from abuse can feel extremely overwhelming. In order to get through the holidays without danger, it is important to prepare accordingly and have a safety plan in place.
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving, celebrated on Tuesday, November 28th after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Day One is kicking off the charitable giving season with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign centered around #GivingTuesday. Here’s where you come in.
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a term used to describe harm or abuse occurring within an intimate relationship. IPV can be perpetuated by both current and former partners, and does not require sexual intimacy. While there are many different ways through which IPV manifests itself, it generally falls into five main categories.
For those who have not experienced abuse, it is difficult to understand why the survivor in an abusive relationship might stay with their abuser. However, leaving an abusive relationship is much easier said than done. Many survivors of abuse are stuck in cycles of emotional manipulation and physical or sexual violence and exploitation, which are difficult to escape from. The only people that truly understand the complexities of any given abusive relationship are those people in the relationship.
Thirty years ago, October was designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) as a way to build public consciousness of a pervasive, but hidden social problem. This year, we invite you to help raise awareness of DVAM among your friends, family, and followers by tapping into your social media networks.
I first heard about Day One’s You(th) Already Know! Conference during a phone interview I had for an internship at Day One. I was already excited about the position, but became even more enthusiastic after learning that part of my job would be helping to plan a youth centered conference on intimate partner violence (IPV). Day One’s dedication to include youth as participants in the conference, but also to empower them through leadership, education and creative input opportunities felt inspiring!