By Nicole Bruno, MSW, MPA www.eatfunlove.com February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. One third of all teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. Dating is an important milestone in a teenager’s life. But what happens when dating goes wrong and violence occurs in the relationship? Teen dating violence crosses all racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and socioeconomic statuses. Anyone, anywhere, can be affected. It is a social pandemic that, if not controlled and stopped, will continue to prevail and hurt all communities. More and more teenagers are entering into abusive relationships and the violence does not stop there. Often the cycle of abuse becomes the norm and continues into their adult relationships as domestic violence. Teen Dating Violence is defined as “the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically between a current or former dating partner. Yes, this means it can also occur online and through social media and other forms of electronic communication such as texting, emails, and posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Be aware of the relationships and conversations your teens have on social media, especially if you notice changes in your their behavior. Why is all of this important? Because there are negative effects that occur when a teen is in a violent and abusive relationship, such as depression, anxiety, anti-social behaviors, low self-esteem and sometimes even thoughts of suicide (CDC, 2014). Teens are still developing their identities, forming concepts about the world and the relationships around them. Do not allow them to continue being at risk. Prevention Is the Key – Be Aware of the Signs Speaking to your children about healthy relationships and healthy boundaries are just as important these days as the “sex talk.” Teens especially, need to know that they deserve and are worthy of a relationship that consists of: Respect Healthy communication Trust and Support Non-threatening behavior Shared power Honesty and accountability Self-confidence and personal growth It’s important for parents and teens to know the early warning signs of abusive relationships. Frequently, these signs emerge slowly and go unnoticed, often being excused as “having a bad day” or blamed on someone or something else. But under no circumstances is abusive behavior acceptable. Early warning signs of an abusive relationship include having the other person: Yell at them Says mean and rude things about the teen — tells them they are a bad person Says negative things about their appearance Calls them names Humiliates them in private or in front of others Speaks ill of their loved ones Blames them whenever something does not go right Teens are not always willing to “tell” on their boy/girlfriend. They often believe it’s their own fault or they can “fix” their abuser. It’s not easy to admit someone you care about is hurting you; as a result they may act out in other ways. Negative consequences/behaviors that a teen who is […]
This Saturday, September 22, 2012, the Chandler Coalition for Youth Substance Abuse (CCYSA) will host its first ever “Teen Summit” at ICAN! The Teen Summit is a free event open to any teens, no matter if where they live and affiliation with ICAN or CCYSA. Nationally recognized guest speaker, Calvin Terrell will address the group on the affects of substance abuse on ones self and their community beginning at 9am. Break out sessions with community leaders from Chandler Police Department and MADD will take part immediately following the guest speaker. Lunch will be served at 12:30 followed by a car show, info booths, prizes and music from 101.5 Jamz DJs. Guest speaker Calvin Terrell is founder and lead facilitator of Social Centric; an organization he designed to provide education and training for all ages to enhance human interactions and global progress. He is a former Assistant Director of the National Conference for Community Justice/Anytown USA Arizona Region. He has taught for Upward Bound at Arizona State University and the Arizona National Guard’s Freedom Academy. For more than twenty years, Calvin has lectured, trained, and lead comprehensive workshops for valuing diversity, equity, and justice building in schools, corporations, and civic organizations for thousands of adults, children, and youth throughout the United States. For more information, contact ICAN Teen Programs Coordinator, Bryan, at 480.821.4207 or email@example.com
The Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse (CCYSA) held their strategic planning meeting yesterday (Tuesday, March 20, 2012) at ICAN that included retired US General William W. Crouch in attendance. General Crouch was representing as a board of directors member for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). The meeting included ICAN’s Peer Leaders who shared real problems with local youth on substance abuse to demonstrate the need for the CCYSA in our community. General Crouch took a tour of ICAN and met some of the youth, listening to their stories and encouraging them to continue sharing and making their voice heard. ICAN’s Director of Programs, John Hamilton, facilitated the tour, “General Crouch wanted to visit a coalition in the Phoenix area that’s doing well to observe, and it’s an honor to hear the Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse was so highly regarded by the CADCA.” In February, the CCYSA graduated from CADCA’s National Coalition Academy which is held annually in Maryland. The National Coalition Academy is a comprehensive training program developed by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute. Coalitions participating in the academy learn about creating and maintaining partnerships, sustainability, cultural competence, assessment, prevention planning and implementation and evaluation to establish or maintain a highly effective anti-drug coalition. General William Crouch is a retired United States Army four star general, and former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
Our guest blogger for the month is ICAN’s Family & Community Programs Manager, Ixtchell Ledesma, who coordinates activities for the Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse to help prevent youth substance abuse within Chandler Arizona. Every year the U.S spends $180 billion on the negative effects that illegal drugs have on the mind and body but also on the production, sale, and use. The Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse (CCYSA) is organizing residents, parents, and teens to take back our streets. This past year Chandler was able to successfully remove 300 pounds of Marijuana from our community. Furthermore, over 400 residents were educated on the laws and harms of underage drinking. The CCYSA is excited to announce that a community website has been launched to help parents, teens, and community residents learn about the myths and realities of substance abuse. The website will provide Teens with opportunities for involvement and launch them into a Peer Leadership group that take pride in reducing the access and availability of drugs in their community. The Teen program meets on a daily basis learning the fundamentals of what it means to be an active participant in the Chandler community. Parents and community residents will learn about the tell signs of use resources for individuals seeking treatment and counseling. Lastly, the website will provide areas for involvement and strategies being practiced and implemented by Chandler residents to maintain safe and drug free neighborhoods. Visit our website to become involved and learn more about what you can do to stop illegal drug use in your community www.ccysachandler.org