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CDC Demonstration Projects – Preventing Intimate Partner Violence in Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations August 11, 2011

Posted by Kate in Domestic Abuse, Prevention, Teenage Relationships.
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The burden of IPV on racial and ethnic minorities is not well documented.  Some population-based studies have demonstrated few differences in the prevalence of IPV among these persons, yet other studies find substantially greater violence among racial and ethnic minorities.  For example, the IPV prevalence rates for whites, African Americans and Hispanics has been demonstrated to be 11%, 25% and 25% respectively.  Some attribute the disparity to economic differences among the groups and may not be intrinsically related to race and ethnicity.

Recognizing the need for IPV prevention and intervention programs that address specific racial/ethnic minority populations the CDC issued a request for application in 2000 for demonstration projects that would develop, implement and evaluate IPV prevention strategies targeted for specific racial/ethnic minorities.  The press release for the launch of this study is: here.

One of the crucial things that all of the programs learned is that the education and prevention programs needed to be customized to address specifics about the community in order for the audience to relate to the material.  For example, in a Native American community where there was an extremely high rate of poverty, a curriculum had an example of an angry boyfriend destroying a CD that was given as a gift.  The students all said they would never do that even in anger because a CD is such a luxury there.  A different hurdle was found in Hispanic communities which had a high number of immigrants.  The cultural norms of what is acceptable behavior differed and this had to be addressed in the curriculum materials.

The overall takeaway from the studies that can be applied to mixed communities as well is that the message has more resonance if it is applicable to the student.  A curriculum that talks about a boy and a girl having an argument while riding in a car when taught in New York City may not feel “right” while in a suburban or rural area this may be a relatable scenario.

The lessons learned from this program are fully documented in the CDC report available here for free: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/ncipc.aspx Scroll down to intimate partner violence and select the Preventing Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence in Racial/Ethnic Minority Communities document.


Facebook, Twitter and Web Connections June 29, 2011

Posted by Kate in Domestic Abuse, Prevention, Teenage Relationships, Uncategorized, What We're Up To.
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One of the things that we found when trying to research dating violence prevention and education is that there was no one website that had links to further information – it was scattered across the net.  The goal of this blog piece is to create a resource page for Unfollow Charlie which includes Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and website addresses.  Please take a look at these resources and follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep abreast of the latest information in the struggle to prevent intimate partner violence.

A Call to Men: An Organization Dedicated to Engaging Men in Prevention Efforts to End Violence and Discrimination Against Women and Girls.
 Facebook home page  Website home page: http://www.acalltomen.org/

A Thin Line: MTV’s A Thin Line campaign was developed to empower you to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in your life and amongst your peers. The campaign is built on the understanding that there’s a “thin line” between what may begin as a harmless joke and something that could end up having a serious impact on you or someone else. We know no generation has ever had to deal with this, so we want to partner with you to help figure it out. On-air, online and on your cell, we hope to spark a conversation and deliver information that helps you draw your own digital line. Facebook home page Follow on Twitter: @A_Thin_Line Website home page: http://www.athinline.org/

Break the Cycle: Break the Cycle believes everyone has the right to safe and healthy relationships. We are the leading, national nonprofit organization addressing teen dating violence. We work every day towards our mission to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence.  Facebook home page Follow on Twitter: @BreaktheCycleDV  Website home page: http://www.breakthecycle.org/

Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence: Our mission is to aid in the prevention of partner violence by leveraging the strength and resources of the corporate community. We believe that business plays an essential role in raising awareness of the issue and that our sustained efforts will help reduce and ultimately eliminate partner violence. Facebook home page  Website home page: http://www.caepv.org/

Love Is Not Abuse: Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence. Through its Love is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools that men, women, children, teens and corporate executives can use to learn more about the issue and find out how they can help end this epidemic.   Facebook home page Follow on Twitter: @Love_IsNotAbuse  Website home page: www.loveisnotabuse.com

National Sexual Violence Resource Center:The National Sexual Violence Resource Center serves as the nation’s principle information and resource center regarding all aspects of sexual violence. It provides national leadership, consultation and technical assistance by generating and facilitating the development and flow of information on sexual violence intervention and prevention strategies. The NSVRC works to address the causes and impact of sexual violence through collaboration, prevention efforts and the distribution of resources. Facebook home page Follow on Twitter: @NSVRC  Website home page: http://www.nsvrc.org/

VAWNet, The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women: The goal of VAWnet, The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women is to use electronic communication technology to enhance efforts to prevent violence against women and intervene more effectively when it occurs.  VAWnet supports local, state, and national prevention and intervention strategies that enhance safety and well-being and address the self-identified needs and concerns of victims and survivors. Facebook home page  Follow on Twitter:@VAWNet Website home page: www.vawnet.org

Two Organizations Helping Men Teach Boys To Respect Women June 22, 2011

Posted by Kate in Domestic Abuse, Prevention, Teenage Relationships, What We're Up To.
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Fathers, coaches, and teachers play an important role in shaping boys’ attitudes toward women.  A Call to Men and Love Is Not Abuse are two organizations that are helping men to understand what they can to do help prevent violence and discrimination against women and girls.

From A Call to Men, here is a list of Ten Things Men Can Do:

1. Acknowledge and understand how male dominance and aspects of unhealthy manhood are at the foundation of domestic and sexual violence.

2. Examine and challenge our individual beliefs and the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive.

3. Recognize and stop colluding with other men by getting out of our socially defined roles, and take a stance to prevent domestic and sexual violence.

4. Remember that our silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out against domestic and sexual violence, we are supporting it.

5. Educate and re-educate our sons and other young men about our responsibility in preventing domestic and sexual violence.

6.”Break out of the man box”- Challenge traditional images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand in domestic and sexual violence prevention.

7. Accept and own our responsibility that domestic and sexual violence will not end until men become part of the solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence and discrimination against women and girls.

8. Stop supporting the notion that domestic and sexual violence is due to mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc… Domestic and sexual violence is rooted in male dominance and the
socialization of men.

9. Take responsibility for creating appropriate and effective ways to educate and raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence prevention.

10. Create responsible and accountable men’s initiatives in your community to support domestic and sexual violence prevention.

For the brochure Tough Talk – What Boys Need to Know About Relationship Abuse from Liz Claiborne’s Love Is Not Abuse, please click here.

Dating Violence Education Curricula June 16, 2011

Posted by Kate in Domestic Abuse, Education, Prevention, Teenage Relationships.
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Schools have different goals for their prevention/education programs and different resources to achieve those goals.  Here is a list of some of the established curricula to help achieve those goals.

Break the Cycle:  This is an LA based organization.  It’s curriculum has a focus on the role of law enforcement and how to obtain protection orders.  For more information, please click here.

Choose Respect:  This is the Center for Disease Control’s curriculum to encourage healthy relationships.  It is free of charge.  For more information, please click here.

Expect Respect: This is the curriculum that was developed in Austin, TX for A Safe Place which has been educating teens since 1998.  This curriculum has a fee.  For more information, please click here.

Love Is Not Abuse:  This is the website and curriculum developed by Liz Claiborne Inc.  It is also free of charge.  For general information about dating abuse, please click here.  For a copy of the free curriculum, register here.

Safe Dates:  This curriculum was developed for teens by Hazelden, who has also developed curriculum for teens regarding substance abuse.  Start Strong uses this curriculum and the CDC has also used this curriculum.  For more information, please click here.

Where We Are Headed June 12, 2011

Posted by Syd in Education, Prevention, What We're Up To.
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Two months on, the media attention paid to Charlie Sheen has died down.  The producers of “Two and Half Men” have moved on.  The men and women of UnfollowCharlie are now also moving on, or rather, shifting our focus.  When we started this project, we knew we wanted to raise awareness about domestic violence.  We wanted to highlight great individuals and organizations, and we wanted to educate our readers about some of the truly disheartening statistics out there.  What we struggled with was a particular way to help – domestic violence – it’s a huge, global issue, and there are several aspects one can tackle.  While we wrote about/tweeted/linked to sites or stories we found, we needed to focus our energies.   Over discussions on how to do so,  Jenn raised an interesting point:

“ Boys are often taught to stifle their feelings and that comes out in bad ways in a relationship. I also think some men have mommy issues that they project onto their partner, and when it goes bad it goes really bad. There are a whole lot of codependency issues involved as well. My hope was that there was some sort of education for young boys that teaches them this is not okay, no matter what, and if you start to feel this way, you should do this.”

The wheels started to turn from there.  She’s right – children and adolescents are not being taught about domestic violence to any great degree.  They are learning from the relationships they see at home.  Kate has been doing an enormous amount of research on this topic – finding out where programs actually exist, how do they work, how they are funded.  She discovered that thankfully, work IS being done in this area, but it is not enough.  Schools face budget cuts on a regular basis, and funding does not exist for “non-essential” programs.

We believe this education IS essential.  Children and teens must be taught about healthy relationships.  They need to be able to recognize the signs of unhealthy or violent relationships, especially if they are raised in a violent home, otherwise these behaviors become normalized.

So – that’s where we’re headed.  Come with us!

How can you help?

First of all, we’re changing our name.  We need suggestions!  We’re opening this up to Facebook and Twitter, and we’re going to make it a friendly competition.  We need a positive, empowering name.  We’ve got some ideas we’re rolling around, but give us yours!  The contributor with the best suggestion will win a $100 donation to RAINN in their name.    We need it themed along our new goal, and can be an acronym.  The competition will end on July 16, 2011 at 11:59 EST.

Secondly –  Tell us what’s going on in your area.  What level of education exists in your local schools and communities?  How are the programs funded?

Third – please help us spread the word!  We’re on twitter, follow us here, and please join us on Facebook.

Please stay tuned for the new developments!