Violence-Free Teens Conference

Like domestic violence, teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling, and abusive behaviors of one person over another within a romantic relationship. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse. It can occur in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. It knows no boundaries and crosses race, socio-economic status, culture, and religion. Violence can happen to anyone.

Annually, 1 out of 11 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating abuse (CDC 2006). According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, electronic dating violence and teens is a significant social problem. The Cyberbullying Research Center reported that an online survey of teens sponsored by the Liz Claiborne company revealed that 36% of teens say their boyfriend or girlfriend checked up on them as many as 30 times per day and 17% reported that their significant other made them afraid not to respond to cell phone calls, email, or text messages. Another recent poll spearheaded by MTV and the Associated Press found that 22% of youth between the ages of 14 and 24 who were involved in a romantic relationship said that their partner wrote something about them online or in a text message that wasn’t true. This same survey reported that 22% of youth felt that their significant other checked up on them too often online or via cell phone. The results of these studies referenced on the Center’s website illustrate that electronic dating violence is occurring across a meaningful proportion of youth.

Many of these cases of teen dating violence could have been prevented by helping adolescents to develop skills for healthy relationships with others (Foshee et al. 2005). Like adults, teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Event Date:    February 16 and 17 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Cost:               Two (2) days –$125

One (1) day–$75

Continuing Education Units: CEUs in partnership with IVAT[i]. CEUs $35 pre-registration; $45 day of registration Cultivating Connections: Empowering Youth and Adult Allies to End Relationship Violence

This year’s conference promises to be a ground-breaking event spanning 2 days.  Building on the momentum of the youth engagement track introduced last year, the conference theme focuses on building powerful youth-adult partnerships to end teen dating and sexual violence.

Thursday will spotlight engaging boys and girls in activism to end relationship violence through the theatrical presentation of Voices of Men, and a plenary address on girls’ activism by Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown. Thursday Workshop(s):

  • Introduction      to Teen Dating Violence Prevention Tools and Resources
  • Working      With and Empowering Young Women—Introducing the Center for Young Women at      Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
  • Violence      Prevention and Parenting Adolescents at Hope Street Family Center
  • Advocacy      for Healthy Teen Relationships and Teen Dating Violence Prevention
  • Respectful      Sexuality—Having Positive Conversations with Youth about Sex and Sexuality
  • Teen      Dating Violence Policy Change: A Case Study of Los Angeles Unified School      District
  • High Tech,      High Touch, and Texting: Lessons from Building Capacity in Technology to      Engage Youth

Friday will be a pragmatic leadership and multi-media campaign development training with, by, and for youth to build their voice in preventing relationship violence. Adult allies will have options of various workshops aimed at strengthening adult-youth collaboration, mentoring, and empowerment. Friday Workshop(s):

  • Becoming      an Adult Ally: How to Engage and Empower Youth Now
  • Legal      Remedies Available for Teen Survivors
  • How to      Talk to Your Teen about Healthy Relationships
  • Passport 2      Social Media: A Parent’s Ticket to a Safe Digital World.
  • Friday      Youth Track—Building a Multi-Media Campaign to Promote Healthy      Relationships, Presented by Peace Over Violence and Change Agent      Productions (for youth only!)
  • Announcing:      A Teen Dating Violence Immersion Track will be provided for school staff,      parents and other stakeholders that are new to teen dating violence      prevention

Invited Presenters

  • Ben Atheron-Zeman, Voices of Men: A One-Man Play Working To End Men’s Violence Against Women.
  • Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown, Encouraging Activism: Girls’ Voices and the Power to SPARK Change

Access to information is integral to breaking the cycle of violence. Toward that goal, I would like to direct your attention to very help informational resources related to domestic violence intervention, prevention, and community outreach. For further information on teen dating violence, here are several websites you can visit: www.thesafespace.org; and www.breakthecycle.org.

For further information contact Emily at Emily@peaceoverviolence.org.

Source(s): Peace Over Violence. Prevent-Connect. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). http://www.thesafespace.org; and www.breakthecycle.org. Cyberbullying Research Center. Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art


[i] This conference is co-sponsored by The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) at Alliant International University. This conference meets the qualifications for up to 10.0 hours of continuing education. IVAT is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IVAT maintains responsibility for this continuing education program and its content. IVAT is recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to offer continuing education for National Certified Counselors (Provider #5659). IVAT adheres to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. IVAT is approved by the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE #33) to offer continuing education for LCSWs and MFTs. CE credits approved by CA agencies are accepted in most states. For more information on continuing education, contact psmith@alliant.edu

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