February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Madison—Domestic violence victim advocates throughout Wisconsin are spending this month, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, focusing on abusive relationships among young people.

Teen dating violence, which advocates define as a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner, is increasingly recognized as a widespread problem. One in three teens in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.  This rate is higher than all other forms of youth violence. Over half of teens, 57-percent, know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship.

“Teen victims often don’t know where to turn,” said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). “They many times feel adults will blame them for the abuse they have suffered. We need parents, teachers and other adults to recognize the signs of abuse and know how to support teen victims.”

Advocates say Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is also a time to increase efforts to prevent abuse in future generations. In addition to reaching out to current victims, advocates work to foster better appreciation for healthy relationships among young people.

“Each new generation brings enormous potential,” said Seger. “With greater understanding that harmful relationship dynamics take hold during teenage years, we can now more intentionally instill values of equality and mutual respect in the next generation and thereby lower the rate of domestic violence in the future.”

One Billion Rising

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a number of awareness raising events will be taking place on February 14 in connection with a global movement called “One Billion Rising.” One Billion Rising seeks to engage people of all ages in creative demonstrations to end violence against women. Approximately 20 dances, flash mobs and other One Billion Rising events are planned across the state. 

“The creative energy and spirit of One Billion Rising and the many events around the state offer wonderful opportunities to get young people involved in the movement to end violence against women and increase their knowledge of domestic and sexual violence,” said Seger.

Information about One Billion Rising and other Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month events can be found here: http://wcadv.org/content/resources/teen-dating-violence-prevention-and-awareness-month-2013-events



Selected Resources

Voting Guide for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates

This guide is meant to help advocates assist their clients with the voting process. With the passage of the Wisconsin photo ID voting law, there is a lot of confusion about who can vote and how they can vote.  The guide explains how survivors can register to vote and ensure they have the proper documentation to vote.   In this volatile political climate and budgetary climate, we need survivors’ voices and participation at the ballot box now more than ever.   

Hope. Vision. Future. A Plan for Providing Services to Domestic Violence Victims in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse has created a long-range plan for serving Domestic Abuse victims. This document includes an overview of Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Programs, including statistics, services, populations served, and a financial picture. Recommendations address the issues of Economic Justice, Financial Self- Sufficiency, Housing, Legal assistance and Primary Prevention.

2011-2012 Legislative Agenda
WCADV and WCASA Milwaukee Sick Pay Brief

Domestic and sexual violence take a tremendous toll on public health and safety in Milwaukee. This brief, filed by WCADV and WCASA, supports the Milwaukee Paid Sick Days Ordinance which permits victims paid leave to obtain services from these organizations.

2013-2014 Legislative Agenda
Changes to Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance for DV Victims - Dec 2009

WCADV Policy Development Coordinator, Tony Gibart, offers the following summary of how Wisconsin unemployment statutes have changed in response to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

DCF Brochure about Domestic Violence and W-2

This brochure from the Department of Children and Families explains some of the resources and protections available to W-2 participants who are or were victims of domestic violence.  It is to be given to all W-2 applicants and participants. Hmong and Spanish versions are also available. 

Fact Sheets Related to Brookfield Shooting

These two fact sheets cover topics that were implicated by the shootings at a Brookfield, Wisconsin salon on Sunday, October 21, 2012.  They address (1) domestic violence and the workplace and (2) restraining orders and firearm surrender.