1 is 2 Many

I can’t believe it has been two years since I have posted on this blog.  I am now a college graduate, working in the real world of public relations and am currently going back to school to get my MBA.  A LOT has changed in my life, but unfortunately the statistics concerning Domestic Violence have not gone down for the better.  Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I thought now would be an appropriate time to start contributing to the blog again.

I recently came across a PSA created for Vice President Biden’s 1 is 2 Many Campaign that he started last year.  I am surprised I have never heard about the campaign before, but am excited to learn about it now

I can’t believe my eyes.  The President of the United States? David Beckham? Evan Longoria? Eli Manning? I am so excited to see these big names coming together in an effort to try and end domestic violence, but why have I never seen it until now?

I just went to Evan Longoria’s twitter page, and searched all the way back until May.  Not once has he tweeted about the video to all of his fans to spread the word.

It is great to get celebrities on a campaign to try and help, but they need to continue to spread the word.

As I am writing this post, the video has been seen by 155,238 people.  Let’s make a decision right now to get that number up.  Today is only October 4th.  By October 31st, let’s bring that number up to 200,000.  I know this seems like a difficult challenge, but I know we can do it.  If any of the celebrities in the video tweet it out, or post it on their facebook page we will quickly get to that number.

Help me spread the word about the video.  Let’s do our part in trying to end the silence on domestic violence.

Here are all of the twitter handles for the celebrities in the video.

President Barak Obama – @BarakObama

Vice President Joe Biden – @JoeBiden

Eli Manning – Doesn’t have a twitter … WHAT? Okay here’s his facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/EliManning?ref=ts&fref=ts

Jeremy Lin – @JLin7

Jimmy Rollins – @JimmyRollins11

Evan Longoria – @Evan3Longoria

David Beckham – and David doesn’t have a twitter either.. http://www.facebook.com/Beckham?ref=ts&fref=ts

Joe Torre – @JoeTorre (He hasn’t tweeted since January 2011, but he has 19,000 followers

Andy Katz – @ESPNAndyKatz

We have to change it. It is up to us.

1 Is 2 Many.

Happy tweeting and I will check in with you soon.

Relationship Violence. Break the Silence. Be Part of the Solution.
You Can Make a Difference, You Can Save Lives.
-Sarah

Statistics image was taken from the 1 is 2 Many website

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Dr. Phil… Pick Me!!

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Speaking Out

Over the past year I have given many speeches.  Universities, High schools, Middle Schools,  Girl Scout Troops, Hospitals, Med Schools, some nationally and one at the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.

A few years ago Barbara, the Juvenile Hall speaker coordinator, contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in speaking to the boys.  At first I was a little nervous, but it was one of the most meaning fun speeches I have given. For the most part I say the same thing I said in every speech, but this time was different.

At the end of the speech each of the boys came up and said thank you and I felt like they really understood my speech.  The best way to describe their reactions is with the thank you notes that I got in the mail a few weeks later.

One of the notes that stands out from the others:

“Sarah, I appreciate your speech.  I learned that girls have feelings too and that you should treat them with respect.” – Marcus

Each time I speak it always feels good to know I made a difference in at least one person’s life.

Dr. Phil, let’s work together to End the Silence on Domestic Violence.

The Teen Dating Violence Helpline 1 (866) 331-9474

Relationship Violence. Break the Silence. Be Part of the Solution.
You Can Make a Difference, You Can Save Lives.
-Sarah

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Attention Grabbers

Getting people to talk about teen dating violence is very difficult.  A majority of people feel it is a taboo topic and try to avoid talking about it.  I wanted to show you some of my favorite attention grabbers, and a few found while researching for this post.  Finding a good way to grab attention is key in the success of getting the word out and creating dialogue.

”Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence and dating abuse. Through its Love Is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools to learn more about the issue and find out how to help end this epidemic.”

“Healthy Relationships Workshop- Twenty-eight percent of high school students have experienced abuse in a relationship. With this in mind, a college-age intern created a youth-led healthy relationships educational program for Jewish teens entitled Love Shouldn’t Hurt.”

”A Thin Line-Get the facts about boundary-defying activities like sexting, constant messaging, spying and digital disrespect – so you’ll know where the line is, and be ready to draw your own.”

”Break the Cycle believes everyone has the right to safe and healthy relationships. We are the leading, national nonprofit organization addressing teen dating violence. We work every day towards our mission to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence.”

”When Push Comes to Shove…It’s No Longer Love!® is a 1 1/2-hour long program designed to teach teens, young adults and college students about unhealthy and abusive relationships. The newly updated discussion guide takes participants through a combination of interactive exercises, guided discussions, text studies, and a short film that help them explore the dynamics of relationships, learn to recognize and respond to warning signs of an abusive relationship, and create action steps for raising awareness and working to end dating abuse.”

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Teen Dating Bill of Rights

I have the right:

  • To always be treated with respect – In a respectful relationship, you should be treated as an equal.
  • To be in a healthy relationship – A healthy relationship is not controlling, manipulative, or jealous. A healthy relationship involves honesty, trust, and communication.
  • To not be hurt physically or emotionally – You should feel safe in your relationship at all times.
  • Abuse is never deserved and is never your fault – Conflicts should be resolved in a peaceful and rational way.
  • To refuse sex or affection at anytime – A healthy relationship involves making consensual sexual decisions.
  • You have the right to not have sex – Even if you have had sex before, you have the right to refuse sex for any reason.
  • To have friends and activities apart from my boyfriend or girlfriend – Spending time by yourself, with male or female friends, or with family is normal and healthy.
  • To end a relationship – You should not be harassed, threatened, or made to feel guilty for ending an unhealthy or healthy relationship. You have the right to end a relationship for any reason you choose.

I pledge to:

  • Always treat my boyfriend or girlfriend with respect.
  • Never hurt my boyfriend or girlfriend physically, verbally, or emotionally.
  • Respect my girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s decisions concerning sex and affection.
  • Not be controlling or manipulative in my relationship.
  • Accept responsibility for myself and my actions.

If your relationship is missing some of the bullets on the teen dating bill of rights you might need to rethink your relationship.  If you have any thoughts you are in an abusive relationship, get out.  There is nothing more important than your safety.  You can call the helpline whenever you would like and it is completely anonymous.  You could find a friend, parent, clergy, or police to help you remedy the situation.  It is not right.  They will all be there to support you.  I found trust in all of these people.    It was important for me to know they all had my best interest in heart and wanted me to be in a safe situation.

(The Teen Dating Bill of Rights can be found on the Love is Respect Website (http://www.loveisrespect.org/resource-center/teen-dating-bill-of-rights/)

The Teen Dating Violence Helpline 1 (866) 331-9474

Relationship Violence. Break the Silence. Be Part of the Solution.
You Can Make a Difference, You Can Save Lives.
-Sarah

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My Therapy

Six years ago when I left my abusive relationship I was very lost and confused.  I felt the world I had been living in was torn apart; I was being told by so many people that I had gone too far in calling the police.  Classmates egged my house for weeks and his best friend threatened my life.  Kids at school were telling me I had done the wrong thing; I began questioning myself and wondering if they were correct.

My life got flipped upside down, I didn’t trust anyone; I had been betrayed by the person I cared about the most and didn’t feel I could trust anyone.  My parents encouraged me to continue therapy but I couldn’t trust him either and was uncomfortable talking with him so I stopped going.

I have found my own sort of therapy; speaking out.  I have spent six years telling my story to teens, parents, schools, support networks, Girl Scout troops and many others.  After every speech there is usually at least one person that comes up to me to tell me about a relationship they used to be in or are currently in and how they felt they could relate to my story.

That one person after each speech is why I do this.  That one person whose life I helped just by sharing my experience.  Giving what I went through a purpose and working through my problems has made a huge difference.  I get to tell my story and not be silent about it and help give others that strength.

A few years ago I was asked to speak on the Today Show about my story, the helpline and the curriculum.  You can watch the Today Show video by clicking here.

Nobody likes to talk about teen dating violence or even think that it happens all around us. But it does.

I just finished watching the new Lifetime movie “Reviving Ophelia.”  It is an excellent movie that shows how easy it is to get caught in an abusive relationship.  The movie shows the cycle of violence, warning signs, and all the different sides of the relationship.

I think this is an excellent movie please have every teen and mother of a teen watch this movie.  At the end of the movie the Love is Respect Teen Dating Abuse Helpline phone number is given: 1 (866) 331-9474

Relationship Violence. Break the Silence. Be Part of the Solution.
You Can Make a Difference, You Can Save Lives.
-Sarah

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Do Something

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  How many of you actually knew that? A majority of people know that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so why don’t they know about the other? Domestic Violence is a taboo issue to talk about… why?  The only way we are going to be able to end this terrible abuse is by talking about it!

Let’s do something. The website http://www.DoSomething.com has many different projects and ways to make a difference.  If you look around on the website, you can find all the different project ideas, one of which takes only a minute. 11 ways to use texting to fight dating abuse.  Perfect.  We all have a cell phone; we are all able to spend one minute and send at least one person a text.

Make me a promise.  Promise me that you will do something.  Promise me you will send out a text to at least one person.  Let them know that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and let them know you are trying to do your part and end domestic violence and teen dating violence.

The Teen Dating Violence Helpline 1 (866) 331-9474

Relationship Violence. Break the Silence. Be Part of the Solution.
You Can Make a Difference, You Can Save Lives.
-Sarah

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