Celebrating National Dating Awareness Month with mark. m.powerment
One of the most unspoken topics between teens & their parents is dating violence. Teen dating violence is when verbal, physical, sexual & psychological harm occurs or is threatened in a dating relationship between teens. Around 1.5 million high school students across the country have experienced physical abuse from a dating partner currently or in the past. (CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, May 2006). As long as we remain silent on dating abuse & domestic violence, this epidemic will continue.
- Over 90% of Americans failed to identify repeated patterns of abuse & controlling behaviors as domestic violence. (2011 Bystander Survey)
- Violent behavior often starts between the ages of 12 & 18 (Love Is Respect website, 2016)
- There are short & long term negative consequences for the victims such as depression/anxiety, engagement in unhealthy behaviors like alcohol & drug abuse, thoughts of suicide & antisocial behaviors (CDC, July 2016).
- 57% of college students say it is difficult to identify the signs of dating abuse. (Liz Claiborne, 2011 College Dating Violence & Abuse Poll)
- 2/3 of Americans 15+ agreed that if domestic violence & sexual assault was talked about more, it would make it easier for them to step in to help someone in that situation (mark. m.powerment website, 2017).
- Only 1/3 of victims tell someone about the abuse (Liz Claiborne Teenage Research Unlimited, 2005)
- Only 42% of parents correctly identified their teen’s direct signs of dating abuse & only 32% of teens told their parents. However, when teens do talk to their parents, 78% do not listen to their parent’s advice. (Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. 2009 Teenage Dating Abuse Report)
- Only about 10% of high school students reported physical abuse & 10% of high school students reported sexual abuse from a partner (CDC 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
Signs of Dating Violence
Love is Respect lists these as warning signs you are in an abusive relationship when your partner:
- checks your emails & phone without your permission.
- is constantly putting you down.
- demonstrates extreme jealousy or insecurity.
- has an explosive temper.
- is isolating you from your friends & family.
- makes false accusations.
- has mood swings.
- is physically hurting you in any way.
- is possessive
- tells you what to do & gets mad when you don’t do it his/her way.
- pressures or forces you to perform a sexual act.
Love is Respect lists these as warnings signs that you know someone in an abusive relationship:
- Their partner is extremely jealous or possessive.
- You notice unexplained marks or bruises.
- Their partner excessively emails or texts.
- Your friend/child shows signs of depression or anxiety.
- They stop participating in extra curricular activities or other interests they enjoy.
- He/she stops spending time with their friends & family.
- Their partner abuses animals or other people.
- Your friend/child begins to dress differently
What is mark. m.powerment?
Avon’s mark. created m.powerment in 2008 to help break the cycle of abuse in dating relationships. In 2012, mark. m.powerment announced they had reached $1 million in funds raised. They have added over half a million dollars since then (mark. m.powerment website, 2017). The mark. m.powerment has given out nearly 100 grants in support of organizations & programs that provide services to victims & bring awareness about Teen Dating Violence.
One of the main aspects of m.powerment is the bystander initiative. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a bystander as someone who is present during a situation, like when another person is being abused, but is not apart of it. mark. m.powerment encourages for us women to stick together & look out for one another. With 58% of college students not knowing how to help a friend out of an abusive relationship (Liz Claiborne, 2011 College Dating Violence & Abuse Poll), the bystander cause is a great initiative to educate American teens & young adults on what the signs are & how to help when they see or experience it.
How to Support the Cause:
You can support the mark. m.powerment cause by making any size donation at www.youravon.com/jantunes or through your local Avon representative.
Where Does My Donation Go?
One way that mark. m.powerment is bringing awareness is by providing grants to college campuses across the country that work on minimizing sexual assault, dating abuse & stalking. Here are three examples of how grant money was used on college campuses:
- At Providence College, they used their grant money to create the Friar Bystander Intervention Program. Last school year, more then 85% of the undergraduates participate in at least one of the bystander-intervention training sessions. The college also hosted an event with anti-violence advocator & pro football player Don McPherson that drew 700 students to.
- University of California Santa Barbara’s Violence Intervention Prevention program recruited 16 undergraduate students to learn effective bystander intervention tactics to become peer educators. They each took on a project to reach diverse audiences across campus to bring awareness. One student created this video partnered with University of California Santa Barbara Office of International Students & Scholars to coincide with the White House’s It’s on Us:
- At the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities they created a cause that centered around men, knowing they usually are the aggressors with campus sexual assault incidents. With the help of its campus grant Average Joe to Activist Joe: Male Student Engagement in Sexual Violence Prevention Program, thousands of students were reached through a series of events such as a discussion panel & a screening of “The Mask You Live In”. This program was such a success that University of Minnesota created a full time position to continue the good work.
In the last 20+ years, educational programs & services to help victims of abuse has increased all over the world thanks to non profit organizations, government agencies & companies like Avon who work to bring awareness & work to end abuse in all relationships.
- Love Is Respect: National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
- Call 1-866-331-9474
- Click “Chat Now” on their website at www.loveisrespect.org
- Text “loveis” to 22522
- National Sexual Assault Hotline
- 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- The National Center For Victims of Crime
- 1-800-211-7996 (TTY)
For more information on Dating Violence in Teens & Young Adults:
- Break the Cycle: national, nonprofit organization that addresses teen dating violence. Their website provides information about curricula, policy information, legal help and services, public awareness campaigns & training related to teen dating abuse.
- Love is Respect: its a collaboration of Break the Cycle & National Dating Abuse Hotline that provides information & resources on their website regarding dating violence & what a healthy relationship is.
- youth.gov: a U.S. government website that helps create, maintain and strengthen effective youth programs by providing facts, funding information & tools to help your community.
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: is a major component of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. CDC works to protect America from health, safety & security threats foreign & domestic.
- The National Center for Victims of Crime: a nonprofit organization that is committed to helping victims get their lives back. It is an advocacy organization that fights for victims rights.
- National Conference of State Legistlatures: a website where you can find the laws on Dating Violence for each state in the United States.
To learn more about all of Avon Foundation for Women causes, go to www.avonfoundation.org
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