As much as possible, we want to highlight for our readers the
power of collaboration in preventing gender-based
violence. In this prevention blog post, we’re excited to
bring you a guest post from Deena Fulton of the California
Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA). Our long-standing
collaboration with CALCASA has been especially important for our
prevention efforts, as many of our strategies address shared risk
and protective factors for both sexual assault and domestic
The most important thing I’ve learned since joining the movement
to end domestic violence is that one size does not fit all when
supporting survivors. Every survivor has a unique identity that
is shaped by country of origin, language, gender identity,
sexuality, socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and so much
more. We cannot separate out these components of a person’s
identity when thinking about how we respond to an individual
survivor’s situation and needs, or when thinking about what
policy issues impact their lives.
With only a few weeks until school starts, many California
parents and students are gearing up for a year of academic and
social growth. It’s an exciting time when everyone wants to put
their best foot forward. The same goes for people working in
adolescent dating abuse prevention; this is the time for
finishing up plans to engage youth during the upcoming school
year. Did you know that these prevention activities can actually
Can we talk about that? We know there are so many important issues to be discussed that don’t easily lend themselves to a 140-character tweet or a Facebook post, and this new blog gives us a forum to engage you in those conversations. We’ll be sharing items that catch our eye and spark our interest – and hopefully spark yours as well.
Some schools offer information about dating abuse and healthy
relationships through assemblies, health classes or presentations
from local domestic violence organizations, but how many schools
are going beyond these singular events to nurture a school
environment that values healthy adolescent relationships?
February is the start of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
There are many great activities and social media campaigns that
are happening throughout the month. I am very excited about the
Partnership’s campaign :) #relationshipsfeel. Each week will be a
different theme around healthy relationships.
I went to one of her women’s high school basketball games in
February and I noticed the other team was dressed in pink, which
was not their school color. I, of course asked why at the
concession stand, as I’m sure others did and was told it was to
support the fight against breast cancer. Then an announcement was
made during the game too.
It’s Respect Week! There are many ways to participate in Teen DV
Month this week! Start the week by wearing orange on Tuesday
February 10th but don’t just wear orange, talk with people
about why it is important to support healthy adolescent
relationships. Post a picture of orange day and use the hash tag:
Adolescent Relationship Abuse (ARA) impacts at least one in five
adolescents in the United States every day. This is a public
health problem, this is everybody’s problem. Besides the obvious
ways that abuse impacts one’s health (increasing risk for mental
illness and intentional injury), relationship abuse affects
sexual and reproductive health, substance abuse disorders, and
even risk of physical chronic diseases through toxic stress. This
sounds like bad news, but the good news is that this is a problem
that we can do something about. Doesn’t that feel empowering?
In 2013, as part of a DELTA
FOCUS grant, the Alliance for Community Transformations began
an effort to engage the community of Mariposa, CA, and
specifically the Mariposa County Unified School District in
promoting healthy teen relationships and preventing dating abuse.
At our Stand With Me Youth Summit last Wednesday, 150 adults and
students came together to have critical conversations about how
to create safe and affirming schools. This Summit came about
after attending Futures Without Violence’s Someone Stood Up For
Me Summit in May 2014.
Working with adolescents calls upon a different skill set then
some advocates use every day. When we are addressing adolescent
dating abuse we need to change the language and understanding of
what is happening within the relationship. Adolescent dating
abuse is different than abuse in adult relationships.
Ever since I started working at the Harrington
House, in Crescent City, CA, some of my friends and family
members have told me that this job changed me. What I keep
telling them is: the job didn’t make me, but I was made to do
this job. No matter where I move, this place will always be home.
My mother always told me to “leave things better then you found
them.” Del Norte County ranks number 1 out of the 58 counties in
California for domestic violence per capita and has more than
eight times the statewide rate.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions? As we enter 2015 challenge
yourself to add one more resolution to the list: Make intimate
partner violence prevention a priority. You don’t need to be the
prevention advocate or even work in the domestic violence field
to work toward the prevention of intimate partner violence. The
idea of preventing intimate partner violence can be overwhelming
but we CAN make a difference. We can challenge the
social norms that foster violence, we can support healthy
relationships and we can be a role model for young people.
Are you ready for 2015? While you may not be ready to ring in the
New Year, you can be prepared for a new year of prevention
here for the Partnership’s fact sheet on new laws
relevant to school-based abuse prevention.
The Alliance for Community Transformations in Mariposa had a busy
and productive first year of the DELTA FOCUS project. In
keeping with the core components of the project, the Alliance has
focused on Evaluation, Informing Policy, Communications, and
Partnership Building. Year 1 was a great start on all of these
components, and we’re all looking forward to continuing to build
on this work for the current and upcoming years of the project.
Gaining power and control over an intimate partner is at the core
of domestic violence, and abusers often employ financial abuse
tactics to entrap a victim in the relationship. With
support from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
and the Allstate Foundation’s Building Opportunities for
Survivors’ Success (B.O.S.S.) program, Family Services of Tulare
County has implemented an economic empowerment program with
residents at its Karen’s House emergency domestic violence
shelter and its Supportive Housing program.
PreventIPV, a project of the IPV Prevention Council, supports a
unified national prevention movement promoting best practice
strategies, tools, and lessons learned by state/territory
coalitions and community-based prevention programs across the
Advocates know that even after domestic violence survivors leave
violent relationships, there are many obstacles standing between
them and long-term stability. Economic insecurity–the challenges
survivors face in rebuilding their financial lives–is one of the
most difficult to overcome. That’s why advocates are increasingly
turning to asset building as a strategy to set
survivors on the path to economic solvency.