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Break the Cycle | Empowering Youth to End Dating Violence: Break the young people to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence. About Break the Cycle. Break the Cycle inspires and supports young people 12 - 24 to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse. We are a. The Be Project is a program of The Family Place whose aim is to empower youth to be part of the solution to end relationship violence - including bullying.
Based on principles of youth participation and value, we promote throughout this book the importance of developing relationships based on equality and balance. By defining violence as an issue of power over another, rather than physical injury alone, the relationship itself becomes an important area of concern. This viewpoint contradicts our deepest beliefs in what defines violent acts and [Page xi]violent persons, largely due to a strong societal focus on the most visible and disconcerting forms of violence.
The media provides daily messages of the most newsworthy acts of violence, often between strangers or against groups, which may leave us with the impression that such actions are due to a disturbed individual who is different from the rest of us.
Due to the considerable effort, however, that has been directed toward discovering the root causes of violence, we now recognize that despite these news portrayals and stereotyped images of violent offenders, violent acts are not limited predominantly to attacks by strangers. Current policies to address personal violence are outdated and superficial.
- Why Educating and Empowering Teens Is the Key to Ending Domestic and Dating Violence
Imagine attempting to cure AIDS by focusing only on the most serious cases. We have long recognized that such an approach would be expensive and largely unproductive in the long-term—instead, public health officials have deemed it necessary to look beyond the symptoms to the causes and the major influences of AIDS-related disorders, to prevent the disease before it happens.
The prevention of violence involves many of the same tactics: We cannot expect to make a significant dent in the incidence of violent and abusive acts, without considering at least the co-occurrence of alternative messages, models, and principles for developing healthy, nonviolent relationships. Despite the obvious lack of success of current policies toward violence, we find it telling that such policies continue to focus on the most visible and personally frightening forms of violence—street and school violence, predominantly among youth—and too often ignore the more systemic and pathognomic forms of violence in the home that establish the pathways to the next generation.
In contrast, a health promotion paradigm becomes the foundation for the issues and solutions raised throughout this book, both in terms of understanding the nature of violence in relationships as well as offering the most fruitful solutions.
Violence does not affect everyone equally—it is ingrained in cultural expressions of power and inequality, and affects women, children, and minorities most significantly. To be effective as a prevention program, efforts must reflect the reality of women's lives—the inequality and relative imbalance of power, as well as the nature of adolescent relationships in general. Prevention of violence entails building on the positive through empowerment in the context of relationships, not just focusing on individual weaknesses or deviance.
Empowerment plays a very important role in redressing the inequalities and imbalances that contribute to the abuse of power. Empowerment refers to the motivation, freedom, and capacity to direct one's life purposefully and in harmony with others Surrey, Amaro adds to this definition the notion of power through connection, which differs from the traditional meaning of power that is associated with having more control or power over others.
Helping youth to connect with one another and to share their common experiences and concerns generates both personal power and important resources for change.
SAGE Books - Alternatives to Violence: Empowering Youth to Develop Healthy Relationships
Youth are important resources and are part of the solution. An important consideration for change is timing. In this regard, theory and research highlight the formative intimate relationship years of adolescence as a critical point in the development of violent relationships or for changing the trend toward violence.
Adolescence marks the stage where primary affective ties are being moved from the family to the peer network and romantic partnerships. These relationship themes emerge again and again across the various forms of interpersonal violence—child abuse, domestic violence, date rape—urging researchers to uncover common roots and to isolate developmental pathways of violence. The Importance of Participatory Education and Empowerment Drawing from recent studies concerned with the formation of healthy relationships, this book will explore how healthy relationships can be formed in a manner that reduces the overall risk to women of being abused or mistreated by their partners, as well as the risk to men of becoming abusive.
Thus, the importance of gender dynamics in the development of healthy versus violent relationships is underscored.
There have been numerous studies and approaches focusing on understanding how people change their behaviors and beliefs, especially related to issues affecting their intimate relationships. We offer our model of how violent relationships may develop, especially during adolescence, and highlight many of the risk factors leading up to such relationship violence. For example, isolation may not seem like a form of abuse, but not allowing your partner to spend time with his or her friends and family is one method of control.
In the last few months, the topic of sexual abuse has circulated widely on dozens of college campuses as stories of poorly handled sexual assault cases have come to light. While we know that teens text, tweet, post, and so on, we may not know how technology lends itself to potential abuse.
Alternatives to Violence: Empowering Youth to Develop Healthy Relationships
This includes demanding passwords, checking cell phones, cyberbullying, sexting, and excessive or threatening texts or stalking on social media. Teens send upwards of text messages a day, but imagine if nearly half of those text messages were from an abusive partner asking you where you were, who you were with, what you were doing, and when you would be home. Demanding to read text messages and have the passwords to social media accounts and email are all forms of abuse because they take away the ability to control technological privacy.
Financial abuse, which some may say is more relevant to adults, is starting to find its way into youth relationships. Restricting access to his or her money, bank accounts, credit cards, or spending is another form of control.
Why Educating and Empowering Teens Is the Key to Ending Domestic and Dating Violence | TakePart
Though a partner may seem nice because he or she is paying for everything, that person may be taking financial independence away from his or her partner. Trapping a person in a financially dependent relationship is a form of abuse. To end domestic violence, we must meet it where it starts—with young people.
Dating abuse is real. It is happening—and to so many young people today.