Where We Are Headed June 12, 2011Posted by Syd in Education, Prevention, What We're Up To.
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Two months on, the media attention paid to Charlie Sheen has died down. The producers of “Two and Half Men” have moved on. The men and women of UnfollowCharlie are now also moving on, or rather, shifting our focus. When we started this project, we knew we wanted to raise awareness about domestic violence. We wanted to highlight great individuals and organizations, and we wanted to educate our readers about some of the truly disheartening statistics out there. What we struggled with was a particular way to help – domestic violence – it’s a huge, global issue, and there are several aspects one can tackle. While we wrote about/tweeted/linked to sites or stories we found, we needed to focus our energies. Over discussions on how to do so, Jenn raised an interesting point:
“ Boys are often taught to stifle their feelings and that comes out in bad ways in a relationship. I also think some men have mommy issues that they project onto their partner, and when it goes bad it goes really bad. There are a whole lot of codependency issues involved as well. My hope was that there was some sort of education for young boys that teaches them this is not okay, no matter what, and if you start to feel this way, you should do this.”
The wheels started to turn from there. She’s right – children and adolescents are not being taught about domestic violence to any great degree. They are learning from the relationships they see at home. Kate has been doing an enormous amount of research on this topic – finding out where programs actually exist, how do they work, how they are funded. She discovered that thankfully, work IS being done in this area, but it is not enough. Schools face budget cuts on a regular basis, and funding does not exist for “non-essential” programs.
We believe this education IS essential. Children and teens must be taught about healthy relationships. They need to be able to recognize the signs of unhealthy or violent relationships, especially if they are raised in a violent home, otherwise these behaviors become normalized.
So – that’s where we’re headed. Come with us!
How can you help?
First of all, we’re changing our name. We need suggestions! We’re opening this up to Facebook and Twitter, and we’re going to make it a friendly competition. We need a positive, empowering name. We’ve got some ideas we’re rolling around, but give us yours! The contributor with the best suggestion will win a $100 donation to RAINN in their name. We need it themed along our new goal, and can be an acronym. The competition will end on July 16, 2011 at 11:59 EST.
Secondly - Tell us what’s going on in your area. What level of education exists in your local schools and communities? How are the programs funded?
Please stay tuned for the new developments!