Teen Dating Violence
Like domestic violence, teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling, and abusive behaviors of one person over another within a romantic relationship. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse. It can occur in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. It knows no boundaries and crosses race, socio-economic status, culture, and religion. can happen to anyone.
Annually, 1 out of 11 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating abuse (CDC 2006). Many of these cases of teen dating violence could have been prevented by helping adolescents to develop skills for healthy relationships with others (Foshee et al. 2005).
Like adults, teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
This week, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Rules is scheduled to consider an amended version of S. 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013. S. 47 originated in the Senate and passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support (78-12) on February 12, 2013.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the AAUW are strongly opposed to the United States House of Representatives version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 pending before the Rules Committee. “The House version of the bill rolls back current law and fails victims in a number of critical ways:
• Fails to include the protections for LGBT victims from the Senate bill;
• Provides non-tribal batterers with additional tools to manipulate the justice system, takes away existing protections for Native women by limiting existing tribal power to issue civil orders of protection against non-Native abusers, while weakening protections for Native women;
• Contains harsh administrative penalties and hurdles for small struggling domestic violence and sexual assault programs and an additional layer of bureaucracy through the office of the Attorney General;
• Drops the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SAVE) Act, which is included in the Senate bill, that improves the handling of sexual violence and intimate partner violence on college campuses;
• Drops important provisions in the Senate bill that work toward erasing the rape kit backlog;
• Weakens protections for victims in public housing; and
• Drops the inclusion of “stalking” among the list of crimes covered by the U visa (a critical law enforcement tool that encourages immigrant victims to assist with the investigation or prosecution of certain enumerated crimes)”
“The only VAWA bill that we can endorse is the original S.47, a bill that passed the Senate overwhelmingly with bipartisan support and aims to protect all victims as well as hold all perpetrators accountable– regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, immigrant status or sexual orientation.”
“NCADV stands in solidarity with more than 1,300 advocacy organizations, including the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and urges the House to vote no on the VAWA measure pending before the Rules Committee.”
Act now and join advocacy organizations across the country in opposing the United States House of Representatives’ VAWA measure by contacting your House member. For additional information, see the NCADV website and the NTF Alert.
Sources: NCADV Action Alert. AAUW Action Alert
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The Senate worked in a bipartisan manner to pass the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013, S. 47. The Senate bill incorporates input gathered from more than 2,000 victim advocacy groups, service providers and criminal justice professionals. The bill allocates critical resources needed to hold perpetrators accountable as well as expand services and protections to more victims from marginalized communities–including LGBTQ, Native and immigrant.
It is important to thank the seventy-eight (78) Senators who voted favorably and for their courage of conviction to stand with victims. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) exhibited unwavering leadership in shepherding this bill through the Senate.
As the bill advances in Congress, it is my hope that the House of Representatives will follow the Senate’s model example of bipartisanship and work expeditiously to put forth the best policy benefiting all victims.
Sources: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
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This year, Valentine’s Day falls on Thursday, February 14th. Valentine’s Day marks a day for couples and sweethearts to celebrate their love and treasure their time together. As Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, I thought it important to discuss the characteristics of healthy relationships.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), intimate partner violence results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men annually. Twenty-three percent of women and eleven percent of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization. Prevention is key in domestic violence. With that understanding, this post discusses the characteristics of healthy relationship.
Characteristics of Healthy Romantic Relationships:
- Partnership: There is shared responsibility.
- Economic Equality: Freedom exists related to issues of work, school, and money.
- Emotional Honesty: Both parties feel safe to share fears and insecurities.
- Sexual Respect: Accepts that “no” means “no”.
- Physical Safety: Respects partner’s space and discusses issues without violence.
- Supportive/Trusting: Listens and understands, values partner’s opinion, and sensitive to other’s needs.
Characteristics of Abusive Relationships:
- Domination: Abuser decides. Servant-Master relationship.
- Economic Control: Withholds money.
- Emotional Manipulation: Uses jealousy, passion, and stress to justify actions.
- Sexual Abuse: Treats partners as sex object.
- Physical Abuse: Hit, choke, kick, punch, pull hair, twist arms, trip, bite.
- Controlling: Isolates partner from friends.
- Intimidating: Charming in public but menacing in private.
The abusive behaviors listed above are not comprehensive. The information should simply serve as a brief overview and to encourage the reader to seek more information. For further information on the topic of domestic violence, there are many websites that can provide comprehensive information on this topic including but not limited to: http://www.thehotline.org; and http://www.ncadv.org.
Source(s): Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Sanctuary for Families. National Domestic Violence Hotline. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Verizon collects no-longer-used cell phones, batteries, and accessories and either refurbishes or recycles the phones. The refurbished cell phones along with 3,000 minutes of wireless service are provided to victims of domestic violence.
For many women violence and danger are their constant companions. Research indicates that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.[i] Indigent women are more vulnerable. As woman rebuild their lives, the refurbished cell phones serve as a link to supportive services in a time of crisis.
The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. Consider donating your used cell phone— you could possibly save someone’s life.
For further information about Verizon’s cell phone donation process visit: http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html.
Photocredit: Microsoft Clip Art
[i] Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy, National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1993, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).Photo Credit Microsoft Clip Art
Stalking is an increasing problem. Stalking is defined as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear” (Tjaden and Thoennes,1998).
Stalking behaviors also may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the victim unwanted items or presents that may range from seemingly romantic to bizarre, following or laying in wait for the victim, damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property, defaming the victim’s character, or harassing the victim via the Internet by posting personal information or spreading rumors about the victim. As part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2005, Congress extended the Federal interstate stalking statute to include cyberstalking (18 U.S.C. §2261 A).
The overwhelming majority of stalking victims are women (78 percent), and the majority of offenders (87 percent) are men. Nearly 60 percent of women and 30 percent of men are stalked by a current partner (Tjaden and Thoennes, 1998). The Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that 3.4 million persons over 18 were victims of stalking in a one-year period. Baum et al, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, National Crime Victimization Survey, Stalking Victimization in the United States (January 2009). More than 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of cyberstalking was used, such as e-mail (83%) or instant messaging (35%). Id. at
In Ms. Magazine’s Blog, Shawna Kenney wrote a very informative post entitled, When Domestic Violence Enters Cyberspace. In the post Shawna aptly states that,”… technology adds a new element of fear to an abused person’s psyche. Haters spew malicious comments beneath YouTube videos, hiding behind screens and usernames; some make thinly-veiled death threats from the perceived safety of their blogs.” To read her compelling blog post, visit Ms. Magazine’s website at http://www.msmagazine.com.
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Everyone has a right to be safe. Toward that goal, it is important to create a safety plan. There are many helpful safety planning websites for adult and teenage victims of domestic as well as elder abuse victims. Because October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we will focus on the importance of creating a safety plan for victims of domestic violence in this post. If you are in an abusive relationship, it is particularly important to create a personal safety plan and to share it with others.
Research indicates that if you have been battered in your present relationship, you should understand that you are never safe. Perhaps, you may feel that the abuse has ceased and the relationship is improving because the batterer promised to change. You may even convince yourself that the abuse will end if you are the “perfect” partner. Persons who abuse their partners do not just “stop” the battering behavior. In fact, research indicates that often abusive behavior increases over time. The abusive incidents tend to occur more frequently and the level of violence escalates. As a result, it is critical to create a safety plan.
For further information on the creation of a personal safety plan for victims of domestic violence here is a list of a few very helpful websites: www.safehorizon.org; www.domesticviolence.org; www.thesafespace.org; and www.acadv.org; and www.thorpe.ou.edu.
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October has long been recognized as National Domestic Violence Awareness month. As a result, many of the post to this blog have been concerning violence against women. Topics discussed have included but not been limited to: domestic violence facts; myths; the importance of safety planning; upcoming conferences; and published works on this pressing public health issue.
When discussing books on the topic of domestic violence, we would remise if there was no mention of Dr. Lenore Walker’s famous book “The Battered Woman.” Much like “Getting Free”, “Trauma Recovery and Empowerment”, Dr. Walker’s book “The Battered Woman” is a must read for battered women and their allies in the struggle to eradicate domestic violence.
Dr. Walker has written many books and has been published in countless journal articles, magazines, and newspapers. Her highly regarded book, “The Battered Women”, is best known for raising awareness about the phenomenon of domestic violence. Because of Dr. Walker’s inter ground breaking interviews and studies on battered women, she has long been recognized as an expert in on the topic of Battered Women Syndrome. Out of her study of battered women syndrome, Dr. Walker developed theories on how and why domestic violence occurs. She also developed theories on treatment and survival.
Photo Credit Microsoft Clip Art