Categorized as: teen dating violence

Bae Watch: The 4 Most Influential Figures in Your Teen’s Life

As a father of a 16 year old daughter, my life is in ruins! Just kidding, but I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared for the differences between my sweet little princess who loved me unconditionally to grow into this barely speaking, rolling her eyes, teeth sucking mean girl! After a quick reflection (look into her social media), I realized the need to pay attention to the “influencers” in my child’s life. She calls them her “BAE’s” which consists of women so I barely complain. In an attempt to regain some of my “Daddy is my Fav!” days, I learn about them and have open dialogue with my daughter about them; at least when she is not on life support (i.e. Her iPhone).

This list is comprised of entertainers, entrepreneurs, fashionistas, millionaires and moguls whose followers are over 280,000,000 combined! I call them my BAE Watch, my mission is to “watch” my daughter’s BAEs. If you question the Power of these BAEs, I implore you to take some time to learn the language of teen girls and indulge in the music, makeup and mayhem of these four beautiful women who can all be individually identified by one name: Beyonce, Kylie, Rihanna, and Taylor!

Instagram: @beyonce

beyonce-instagram

Instagram: @kyliejenner

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Instagram: @badgalriri

rihanna-instagram

Instagram: @taylorswift

taylor-instagram

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Ah, February! As we eagerly anticipate the day of love, Valentine’s Day; let us not forget how many brokenhearted and abused girls there are in young relationships. This month, in addition to finding love, we encourage those to face new relationships with the ‘Love Me Pain Free’ mentality.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness about dating violence, promote programs that support young people, and encourage communities to prevent this form of abuse with the goal of decreasing the prevalence of dating violence among young people.

Here are a few facts about Teen Dating Violence:

  • 33% of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse.
  • Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.
  • In the U.S., 25% of high school girls have been abused physically or sexually. Teen girls who are abused this way are 6 times more likely to become pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
  • 50% of young people who experience rape or physical or sexual abuse will attempt to commit suicide.
  • Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with.
  • 1 in 5 teens in a dating relationship report being hit, slapped, or pushed by their partner.

Divas In Defense provides teens with a college preparatory, self-defense workshop. The program is called On Her Own. The course includes the twelve elements of personal safety critical for this age group, including date rape drugs, jogging safety, safe parking lot strategies, social media net-iquette, on-campus violence, cyber stalkers and more. Young women enjoy and are empowered by our ten instinctive street fighting tools we teach.

Dating Violence Resources for Young People & Parents

Break the Cycle: Empowering Youth to End Domestic Violence
Striving to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence.

Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships
The Centers for Disease Control’s Dating Matters Initiative promotes healthy teen relationships in economically disadvantaged urban communities. The initiative includes an online training for youth workers and teachers.

Love Is Respect: National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
Providing resources for teens, parents, friends and family, Peer Advocates, government officials, law enforcement officials and the general public.

A Thin Line
Empowering youth to stop the spread of digital abuse.

Technology Safety Planning with Survivors
Help young survivors of teen dating violence make safer decisions online with safety planning tips sheets from the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean Vietnamese, Somali and Russian.

(Resource information courtesy of Family & Youth Services Bureau)

Back to School Safety & Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST)

As much as parents are COMPLETELY ecstatic of children returning to school, safety is a primary concern. Recently in Vinings, Georgia, a smart middle school girl thwarted an attempted abduction. The story reported by @11alive as follows:

11 Alive (http://www.11alive.com) reported “A Campbell Middle School girl was walking home Tuesday afternoon when she said a black SUV approached her. The white male driver allegedly tried to lure her into his vehicle.

“She became suspicious when he wasn’t able to answer her questions. Instead, she ran to a nearby home for help.”

Her quick, intuitive thinking helped her return home safely. In this case, her life was at stake!

Did you know:

In December 2013, the FBI expressed they had more than 7,000 pending investigations involving child exploitation, including sex trafficking of minors and child pornography.

According to FBI statistics, Atlanta ranks among the top 14 cities in the United States for domestic minor sex trafficking. And some 300 girls across Atlanta are lured into trafficking every month.

Facts show this was a possibility of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST), especially here in the Atlanta area. I’ve had training from StreetGrace (www.streetgrace.org) whom I HIGHLY recommend for their diverse knowledge on the topic.

View the USDOJ’s Infographic on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the U.S.

Learn more about Divas In Defense programs here. In addition, read about our On Her Own: Teen Self-Defense Workshop which covers preventive and informative material on bullying, social media net-iquette, cyber safety, identity theft, domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), dating violence, sexual assault and harassment.

Here are a few tips to share with your children to be safe:

  • Bus riders are the safest children.
  • Develop a “safe” word for your children, as well as a “not safe” word.
  • Establish a “check-in” system for latch-key children.
  • Encourage your children to travel in groups.
  • Teach your children the importance of not texting while walking.
  • Practice awareness techniques with your children daily.
  • Register your children for self-defense classes.

Here is the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number: (888) 373-7888.

The Great “8” Spring Break Safety Tips

The Spring Break season is steadily approaching. This is the time where teens and family do lots of travelling. It is important for Spring Breakers to use caution and discretion when visiting different cities. Below are a list of tips provided to assist travelers to their vacation and back in the safest way possible.

  1.  Never leave valuables in plain view in your car. Lock items in your trunk before reaching your destination.
  2. Before leaving your hotel, take a card from the front desk with the name of the hotel, phone number, and address, just in case you need help getting back. Also, put this information in your phone to be extra sure you have it.
  3. All genuine taxis will have some sort of ID or badge. Check for this before accepting a ride.
  4. If you ever feel unsafe, it is completely within your rights to abandon a taxi or any other ride service at a safe stop. Leave money behind on the seat and get out of there if you don’t feel safe.
  5. Try to go the ATM in groups, but avoid getting overly complacent about safety just because you’re traveling in numbers.
  6. When entering in your pin number, use your other hand or your body to cover the keypad. Just because you don’t see someone watching you doesn’t mean there couldn’t still be a camera capturing what you type.
  7. When you check in at the front desk, use discretion in saying your room number out loud for anyone in the lobby to hear. No one outside of your group of friends needs to know your exact location.
  8. Always keep an eye on your drink. If you go the bathroom, take your drink with you! Date rape drugs can be put into any drink, including non-alcoholic drinks. It is also important to remember that while drugs being slipped into drinks is something you should be aware of and guard against, alcohol itself is the most common date rape drug. In a 2007 study by the National Institute of Health, it was reported that 89% of female undergrad sexual assault survivors reported drinking before their assault. No survivor is to blame for their assault, but the links between alcohol and victimization are staggering and cannot be ignored.

My Words Should Be Enough!

My Words should be Enough!

Today many of us rode to work hearing the breaking news of video footage that showed NFL player Ray Rice involved in a domestic dispute with his wife. We all remember the initial story a few months ago, but now seeing actually footage has brought this abuse back into our timelines. Though Rice admitted his mistake, many onlookers voiced their discern of how his punishment lacked severity. The NFL suspended him two games after an “investigation”. NFL will now suspend players six games for their first domestic violence offense, at least a year for any subsequent instances. For many, this felt like an important step, even if it came after insufficient punishment.

Still, this does not explain why seeing the violent video caused the uproar to grow exponentially. The fact is there was doubt where that shouldn’t have been. People have reacted with great vigor and called for more punishment only after seeing this video. We have to remember the countless victims who have watched the constant coverage of the initial incident and have recanted their stories or have kept silent this whole time. Is the tremendous support for Janay Rice helping other survivors to speak out. The way we as everyday people treat victims is far more concerning than seeing actually images. It is already hard enough for a victim to seek help or refuge, the last thing they need is for someone of authority or even their own to doubt them.

We knew a man beat a woman, but a choice was made to not fully believe the victim, to not fully stand behind the woman…to disgustingly applaud the predator as he returned to work. Of course, people can say that they believed her claim the entire time and they supported a lengthy suspension. Yet, it doesn’t explain why seeing the violent video caused the uproar to grow exponentially. The fact is there was doubt where that shouldn’t have been. The league thought two games was a fair punishment. The video becoming available does not change the logic of that decision. They had doubt where there should have been none. A man beating a woman needed vivid, violent imagery to warrant a suspension labeled “indefinite” instead of “two”?

Janay Rice apologized for her role in the incident, though no action by her could ever warrant Ray Rice’s response. She didn’t press charges. She sat by Ray Rice and used the word “regret”.
What’s actually regrettable is, in this instance, in too many neighborhoods, on too many college campuses, women feel pressured to not speak out. Those who are verbally abused, beaten, sexually assaulted, raped stay silent because they are unsure of justice. They have doubt because they know they will be doubted…until some vivid, violent imagery emerges. If thE imagery doesn’t emerge, no matter their pain, there will be people who doubt their claims. There will be people who blame the victim. So, to avoid that potential stigma, they don’t open up. Because the uncertain pursuit of justice leaves them again open to victimization. Whereas arguable doubt leaves the predator shielded from absolute judgment.
A woman who seeks to speak out shouldn’t have to be “strong”. She should just be a woman who feels confident and protected in her pursuit of justice. Yet, women need the doubt, the degradation, to be dissolved before this can be a reality.

For more resources:
http://divasindefense.com/wp/company-info/victim-resources/

You Can’t Do What You Want, It’s My Body

Let me tell you a story of a bi-sexual woman who exudes sexuality; and two men: one accused of possession of child pornography and molestation of under aged girls; and the other sexual exploitation and coercion of young women. Seems like the brewing of a report on eyewitness news.

Well, this is what happened when you get Lady Gaga, R. Kelly and Terry Richardson to do an Advertisement for Rape “collaborative project” called, “Do What You Want With My Body.”

According to the reports, Gaga asked Kelly, “Will I ever be able to walk again?” and he replied, “Yes, if you let me do whatever I want with your body. I’m putting you under, and when you wake up, you’re going to be pregnant.” The video clip of the pulled music video posted by TMZ (see video clip here) depicts a young unconscious woman as a playground for sexual exploitation.

Unfortunately, date rape drugs such as rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine makes this video depiction a real-life situation for too many young ladies. As an Atlanta resident, I am embarrassed that we are ranked No. 1 for Sex Trafficking and at the bottom of the spectrum for high school dropouts.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself from being a victim:

– Keep your drinks with you at all times.

– Don’t accept drinks unless they’re delivered by bar staff.

– Pay attention to the way you feel.

– Use methods of detecting the presence of date rape drugs, like DrinkSavvy, a company which designed a cup to detect date rape drugs.

Domestic Violence by The #’s

—Honor Killing: In the Middle East and South Asia 20,0000 women lose their lives to honor killings. An Honor Killing is the belief of justifiable murder, because a family member has brought dishonor to the family name and image.

Pulled from the Domestic Violence Pintrest board, these various infographics show domestic violence in teen relations, domestic violence against women, and some startling facts regarding international mind-sets. The first infographic, A Dangerous Gap shows 34% of parents report verbal abuse relationships, while a whooping 62% of tweens report verbal abuse. Early this month, National Teen Dating Violence Month, Divas in Defense shared some blog post that could help parents identify the signs of abuse in teen relationships.

What do India, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Jordan all have in common? The majority of their female population believes it is okay for their husbands to physically assault them. This study was conducted with the help of Unicef. A glimpse at the infographic will show the majority of these countries or Middle Eastern countries and third world economies. No doubt religion, sparse economic activity, and overall patriarchal institutions all play a role to some varying degree.

 Found on loveinfographics.com

 Found on visualrights.tacticaltech.org

Found on blog.mapsofworld.com

 

 

Teen Girls, 5 Tips of Protection

 

Last Monday, Divas In Defense provided information to parents and the alike on the warning signs an adolescent woman may be in a dangerous relationship. Now that the warning signs have been unveiled, we’d like to provide you with tips on how girls can protect themselves. Because roughly 1.5 million U.S. high school students report being harmed in the last year, education on prevention and protection are important. Dosomething.org reports a study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stating “Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.” With 8 states having no legislation on the books regarding violent dating relationships as domestic abuse, it is important that teens are told how to protect themselves. With teens are unable to legally file domestic abuse charges against violent partners, consequently, they are unable to get restraining orders. Below are five great tips on how teen girls can protect themselves.

1.      If someone invades your space, forget about being a “nice girl”.

2.      Stay sober in social situations.

3.      Forgo any type of relationship with men who speak negatively.

4.      Have alternate transportation incase the date is not going appropriately

5.      Trust your gut. 

 

GET HELP

If you or someone you know is a victim or emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse, seek help. If you are the abused party, the witness of the abuse, or the abuser please speak with an adult in your life or call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 (1-866-331-8453 for the hearing impaired) or online at www.loveisrespect.org. Help is immediate, local, accessible 24/7, and confidential.

Teen Abuse: 5 Warning Signs for Parents

      

Too often, scars are not only physical; they are commonly psychological scrapes and bruises used to intimidate and break the soul of a person. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that estimates 9% of all teens are victims of dating abuse. Due to maturity levels, most teens have a hard time discerning heated relationship spats or constructive criticism from emotional or mental abuse. As a parent, friend, relative, or mentor of young girls actively engaged in dating it is important to watch for the warning signs of emotional abuse at the hands of a partner. ABC’s 20/20 compiled a list of warning signs that she’s dating an active abuser or potential abuser.

1.       Isolation: Before she met him she had a more active social, school, and/or religious life.

2.       Intimidation: He may not physically harm her, yet frequently breaks or hits inanimate objects.

3.       Degrading “jokes”: He may call her a demeaning pet name, then laugh it off in jest.

4.       Critical: Constant criticism of appearance, talents, or abilities.

5.       Imitation: He may come from a “tragic” home life of abuse as a witness or victim.

The results of abuse manifest themselves in various ways. One common result, is what 1 in 4 girls says, is pressured sex, according to a study conducted by stayteen.org. Some professionals amount the behavior of mental or emotional abuse to pressure partners into sexual intercourse as ‘psychological induced’ rape. To protect young women, it is important to arm them with knowledge surrounding the three different types of abuse: physical, emotional, and sexual. One or more of these abuse types may be at play at the time.

 

GET HELP

If you or someone you know is a victim or emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse, seek help. If you are the abused party, the witness of the abuse, or the abuser please speak with an adult in your life or call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 (1-866-331-8453 for the hearing impaired) or online at www.loveisrespect.org. Help is immediate, local, accessible 24/7, and confidential.

Is It Time to Intervene Your Teen?

Signs of Dating Abuse In Teens

It’s hard to believe that we’re already into the month of February. In just two short weeks Valentine’s Day will arrive and many couples will celebrate with home-cooked meals for their significant other, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, and large amounts of conversation hearts. Even though February is a love-filled month, it’s the perfect time to get educated about dating abuse; particularly teen dating abuse.

February is recognized by President Barack Obama as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month. One-in-four high school females have been sexually or physically abused, so chances are you have a friend or know someone in an abusive relationship. How can you tell? Here are a few of the signs:

  • – sudden isolation from friends
  • – bodily injuries like cuts or bruises
  • – dramatically different behavior around his/her boyfriend/girlfriend
  • – over-load of texts or calls from significant other wanting to know where they are
  • – excessive surveillance by significant other of texts or calls

If you or someone you know experiences any or all of these signs, don’t be afraid to seek help. Self-defense classes are an excellent way to stay prepared, even in a serious relationship. Divas In Defense offers such classes for teens and young adults, so please check out divasindefense.com for more information.

Visit www.loveisrespect.org for even more information about teen dating abuse statistics, the signs to look for, and how to seek proper help.

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