Dating Violence is a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive teen uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior in heterosexual or homosexual dating relationship, in order to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.
Strong Spirit Objective: To educate and spread the awareness on Teen Dating Violence through the philosophy of traditional teachings, values and the maintaining of cultural identity. Abuse and violence is becoming more prevalent in the school systems throughout the country and even more so within Native American Communities. In a study of US high school students, 1 in 5 girls report being physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner. More than half of all rapes of females occur before age 18 plus 22% occur before age 12. Furthermore, studies show that 40% to 66% of youth in violent relationships indicate being both perpetrators and victims of intimate partner violence. Young teens who are victims of abuse, or who are abusers themselves, are more likely to be victims or abusers in the future. This cycle of relationship abuse (for victims as well as abusers) makes prevention even more critical. By educating our youth about abuse we increase the awareness of domestic violence and bring domestic violence to the light and give voice, hope and knowledge to the those who remain silent to this epidemic along with the courage to step up and be a part of making a difference in ending the cycle of abuse and violence!
Strong Spirit Goal: Through the "Strong Spirit: Life is Beautiful Not Abusive" Campaign, teens will identify various types of abuse, and learn about, intervention/prevention strategies, gain insight and knowledge on the issue of abuse and violence along with the provided literature, lectures and motivational speeches, material and available resources. Research shows that programs focusing on reducing violence in teen dating relationships and that promoting healthy respectful relationships show promising results toward eradicating domestic violence. The majority of these successful programs that have focused on increasing students' awareness and knowledge about dating violence have proven the changing in attitudes and norms that condone violence, building conflict resolution and communication skills. Given that many of these prevention programs have only been short-term intervention, the results are particularly encouraging and demonstrate a potential to impact public health. Clearly the prevention of dating violence requires a commitment (both financial and otherwise) with the goal of establishing a consistent, coordinated, and integrated approach in every school system and community (O'Keefe, 2005). Through the "Strong Spirit: Life is Beautiful not Abusive" campaign it is our goal to empower the youth to make sense of their lives by allowing them to explore the various fundamentals of self-respect, respecting others, recognizing the importance of self worth, to promote healthy dating relationships and prevent dating abuse. It is our duty to make our youth feel that they matter, that their spirit can be strong and that their lives can be beautifully balanced and safe without abuse or violence! (This one hour presentation will take place during the school assembly).
Additional Presentations for Strong Spirit Campaign:
Concert by Radmilla Cody w/ special guest(s) appearances: