Welcome to the June edition of RespecText!
Tools for Teens
We’ve been discussing a lot of big topics on our blog over the past month:
- Even though many people have never heard the term “gaslighting,” we get a lot of questions about this very effective form of emotional abuse. So what is it, and what are the signs?
- What do you do if you’re the one who is being abusive in your relationship?
- Anitra, a loveisrespect peer advocate, shares her personal experience in an abusive relationship and discusses some of the the signs of dating violence. These are great talking points if your teen is dating or starting to date!
What’s going on with the loveisrespect team?
- Our partner organization Break the Cycle asked Oklahoma to Start Talking. Next up: Texas!
- Black Girls CODE is teaming up with Verizon Hopeline and Break The Cycle to deliver a series of hackathons this summer with the theme loveisrespect. Girls between the ages of 12 – 17 are invited to attend the all-girls hackathon to build their skills and experience with app development. The next hackathon is coming up in New Orleans on July 2nd & 3rd. If you’re the parent or guardian of a girl who is interested in technology, mobile and games, learn more about this event and how to get involved!
What’s going on around the country?
- Several senators are introducing legislation calling for stronger restrictions on gun access for people with a history of abusive behavior. Among many notable updates to gun laws, they are asking to expand protections to include victims of dating violence. Read more about the issue and the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s 8-week focus study on the use of firearms in domestic violence situations on the Hotline blog.
- Brad Ausmus, manager of the Detroit Tigers, recently made a rather unfunny “joke” about domestic violence while speaking to the press. Many people might dismiss these types of jokes as no big deal, but as we’ve said before, making jokes about domestic violence only minimizes the issue and makes it more difficult for victims to be taken seriously. Mike Bates, a columnist at SBNation.com, wrote a very reasoned response to Ausmus’s remark. This is an opportunity for coaches of young men and women to talk about how important it is to own up to our mistakes, and why what we say carries so much weight. As Bates writes, “it’s an indictment of our culture, which so readily thinks of ways to make the beating of women into a quip that seems to land so well in Ausmus’s press conference.”
- Rolling Stone published an excellent run-down of how policies around campus sexual assault are changing and what that means for college campuses. As high school students are graduating and heading off to college in the fall, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the issue and talk to your teens about it, as well as what they can do to stay safe at school. It’s important to talk to both boys and girls about healthy consent, as well as drugs, alcohol, and abuse.
We have a couple of online events coming up, and we hope you’ll join us!
- On July 24th at 3pm ET we are presenting a new webinar with the National Latin@ Network called, “Insta-Decisions: Starting the Conversation with Teens about Explicit Pics and Social Media Safety.” Register here! Now that more than 60% of teens are using Instagram, a new window to ideas, products, and friendships has opened for them. Although access to social media can be incredibly positive, it also comes with exposure to unexpected risks for teens–including stalking, abuse, and exploitation. During this 1.5-hour webinar, we’ll explore how Instagram works, and how some teens and young adults are using it in potentially dangerous ways. Most importantly, parents, teachers, counselors, and anyone who works with young people, will leave with concrete strategies for opening up the conversation about healthy boundaries and safe social media use. We’ll include tips for harm reduction and information about what happens next. No knowledge of social media is required to attend. This webinar will be presented in Spanish on July 30th at 3pm ET.
- Loveisrespect knows that parents and educators can play a crucial role in guiding teens toward building healthy relationships, so we’ve set aside a special chat time exclusively for you! It is available from 1-3pm CST on the first Wednesday of every month. If you have any questions about how to support the teens in your lives, join us on July 2nd by clicking on the TA chat button when it’s activated!
End Rape on Campus, one of the organizations mentioned in the Rolling Stone article above, is able to assist with campus sexual assault cases and provides information on both Title IX and the Clery Act.
Did you find this edition of RespecText helpful? Help us spread the word! Let parents and teachers in your community know they can subscribe by texting “updateme” to 22522 for monthly tips and information.