The Liz Claiborne Initiative

In 2005 I became a member of the Liz Claiborne Teen Task Force.  I was one of four girls selected to help launch the Love Is Respect national teen dating abuse helpline and Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum.

The helpline is truly amazing and perfect for teens.  It is the only helpline of its kind; teens will answer the phone to speak with those teens that call in.  This is truly unique, and so helpful to teenage victims of abuse.  Having someone on the other end of the phone that is close in age, and knows what you’re going through in high school, makes such a difference.  Teens are also able to communicate via instant messages on the website, if uncomfortable with talking to someone over the phone.

Call anytime; the Teen Dating Violence Helpline 1 (866) 331-9474,

Or start a live chat with trained peer advocates at http://www.loveisrespect.org

The curriculum (Love Is Not Abuse) is a teen dating violence and abuse prevention curriculum.  The curriculum has four lessons: 1) what is dating abuse, 2) the pattern of abuse in dating violence, 3) digital abuse in dating violence, and 4) ending teen dating abuse.  Lesson three was just added to the curriculum and is a very important lesson for teens.  With the technology available currently, it is completely possible to always know where someone is.  My grandparents tell me stories of how, back in the day, there were no phones; what a different world to live in.  There are both positives and negatives to the constant communication, but when it comes to an abusive relationship, the negatives far outweigh any positives.

You can request a free copy of the curriculum at http://www.loveisnotabuse.com

“In this increasingly digitized world, it is imperative that we provide our youth with the information and resources to stay safe,” said Jane Randel, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc. “By adding a section on digital dating abuse to the Love Is Not Abuse curriculum, and by partnering with CDC to launch an online training course for teachers and educators, we can ensure that teens across the country will be taught about all aspects of dating violence and abuse.”

The launch began with “It’s Time to Talk Day,” and we all gathered in the Liz Claiborne Showroom in New York to talk about teen dating violence.  This year, December 8 will mark the seventh annual “It’s Time to Talk Day.” If you have a story or know someone that does, encourage them to participate if ready; teen dating violence happens a lot more often than all of us believe and the statistics prove it.

Some of the current statistics from Break The Cycle are:

  • 1 in 3 teens will experience some form of abuse in a relationship, two-thirds of them will never report it to anyone
  • Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate partner violence—nearly triple the overall average.

Liz Claiborne Inc. also launched a Coalition in 2008 – MADE: Moms And Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse.  The Coalition of parents, teachers etc. is advocating for teen dating abuse education in every middle school and high school in the country.

Made was inspired by parents of teen dating abuse victims, (including my mother!)  These parents want to do their part and try to make sure no one else’s child becomes a victim.

So far thousands of parents, teachers, teens and others have joined the growing movement to get teen dating abuse education taught in every middle school and high school in the country.

Help make this goal a reality.  You can become a MADE Coalition member by signing the petition and downloading resources to contact your schools and legislators. www.loveisnotabuse.com/made

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

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One Response to The Liz Claiborne Initiative

  1. Your story is powerful and you very clearly communicate what needs to be changed. I think it is excellent that you post the hotline at the end of every post, so that if someone needed it they wouldn’t have to go looking for it. I also love that you tied in the significance of this month. Many people don’t know about it and even though you are not directly addressing Dr. Phil, you are taking th time to educate people and show your knowledge on the topic.

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