Note* Not fully edited just threw in content for show.
By Breckan Erdman, NRCDV Program Specialist
NRCDV’s Domestic Violence Awareness Project is carrying our #1Thing message into February as we work to promote healthy relationships, consent, and support for survivors in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. Each and every one of us can play a role in preventing relationship violence across the lifespan, promoting gender and racial equity, and creating the world we wish to live in – and that can start with just one thing!
#1Thing that we are excited about this month is our new and updated resources for serving teen survivors of dating violence and working with young people to promote social change. Our updated Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence special collection on VAWnet includes resources for young people, parents and caregivers, school-based professionals, and more, and our Runaway and Homeless Youth Relationship Violence Toolkit offers tools to help advocates and RHY service providers reach youth on the margins. In our February TA Question of the Month, Rebecca Balog and Tanae LeClaire from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s NativeLove project explore ways to foster connections between adult advocates and youth activists and leaders, particularly in Native communities.
When asked where to begin, Tanae says: “I do think it is always respectable to go through elders and include them in any plans. But nowadays, I believe youth leaders are taking charge of their own fights as well. I would not count out youth leaders directly. They should be your main contact points. Those youth probably have mentors or are connected to the right tribal leaders, traditional, at school, or in the community that have a good relationship and are respected by the youth you will be inviting.”
Additionally, the PreventIPV Tools Inventory features exciting youth-led prevention initiatives like NativeLove and other promising programs working to prevent gender-based violence and promote racial and gender equity. We’re highlighting four exciting youth-focused programs throughout the month as our Prevention Tools of the Week:
Week 1: NativeLove
NIWRC’s NativeLove campaign encourages Native youth to challenge harming dating norms and to restore traditional way of loving, characterized by respect, honor, kindness, and compassion.
Week 2: Take a Stand for Healthy Relationships
The Take a Stand for Healthy Relationships curriculum from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence centers on teaching students how to understand and build healthy relationships.
Week 3: That’s Not Cool
That’s Not Cool partners with young people to address dating violence, unhealthy relationships, and digital abuse through education, organizing, and leadership development.
Week 4: We Choose All of Us
Through visual art, poetry, and storytelling, We Choose All of Us promotes a new way of being, with relationships based on mutuality, an abundance and sharing of resources, and organizing across social justice issues with impacted communities at the center.
At NRCDV, we believe that when each person does just #1Thing, we can make a big impact together. #1Thing you can do to get involved with TDVAM 2019 is to:
• Put on your favorite orange attire and share a picture of yourself on social media on Wear Orange 4 Love Day (Tuesday, February 12th)
• Access tools from the PreventIPV Tools Inventory to learn how you can engage young people in your life about dating violence, consent, boundaries, and gender and racial equity.
• Log into Instagram or Snapchat each Tuesday to learn more about dating violence, consent, and healthy relationships with Break the Cycle’s Taco Bout It Tuesday videos (and keep an eye out for a friendly face from NRCDV on February 19th as we talk about digital abuse!).
• Attend our Using Story Circles to Capture Local Community Responses to Gender-based Violence During TDVAM and Beyond webinar on February 27th at 2pm EST to learn strategies for sharing and capturing poignant personal stories of how young people are taking action.
What #1Thing will you do to prevent teen dating violence during #TDVAM 2019 and beyond?