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to In Memory of Haille
for Youth, Adults
for Youth Helping a Friend
Recognize the Signs
of Abuse: Domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse take
many forms. You may notice that your friend's partner is very controlling,
constantly jealous, or insulting. Or you may see that your friend
has become withdrawn, isolated, fearful, or depressed. Learn more
about the signs of abuse at www.safeyouth.org/scripts/teens/dating.asp
violence and sexual assault are very complex and risky. Everyone
- young or old - needs lots of help from experienced adults in order
to get free of the violence.
Tell Your Friend You're
Worried About Their Safety: Talk with your friend in a calm,
safe place where they won't be embarrassed by others. Don't be judgmental.
Listen carefully. Tell your friend there's no way the violence and
abuse is their fault. Tell your friend you want to help them find
for Your friend: Make phone calls for your friend. Get information
at www.justicewomen.com and from the
many other dating violence links we have listed here.
Brainstorm with Your
Friend About Who Can Help: Make a list with your friend of adults
who are smart, caring, and experienced. Consider parents, counselors,
clergy, teachers, neighbors, police, and advocates. Remember:
Rape and domestic violence hotlines are a good place to start
because they are completely confidential.
Offer to Go with Your
Friend to Get Connected to Help!
Taking the first step to get help is always the hardest step. Offering
to accompany your friend can ease the path to help.
for Adults for Helping a Young Person
Read the Tips for
Youth on the Above: Learn the warning signs of abuse. Inform
yourself of the complexities and dangers. Tell the suspected victim
you are worried about their safety, and why. Tell them it's not
their fault. Gather information and resource lists to pass on to
the youth. Then....
violence and sexual assault are too complex and dangerous for young
people to handle on their own. They're going to need experienced,
caring, adult help. At the same time, many young people may feel
too embarrassed to even reveal the severity of their situation,
let alone be willing to accept your help. So very calmly....
Start by telling the
young person why you suspect they're being abused. Then tell them
why you can't look the other way. Tell them you are available
at any time to help. Suggest a full range of options and other sources
of help. Remind them of their dreams. Remind them of their worth.
If at first you don't succeed, try again at well chosen times.
If all this fails,
carefully choose another significant adult in the young person's
life and ask them to try. If the youth does accept your help,
accompany her, or help her find others to accompany her, throughout
the process of getting help from officials, advocates, and courts.
the responses from officials, especially from criminal justice officials.
These officials are key to providing the protection and justice
the victim needs. Use the resources on our web site at www.justicewomen.com
for evaluating system responses. Speak up immediately if she's not
getting the help she needs.
Make domestic violence and sexual assault part of all youth education
forums - in schools, homes, clinics, churches, and youth groups.
This education should start early, should be ongoing, and should
be based on accurate, up-to-date information. Remember: It's
especially important in all education on violence against women
to counteract the victim blaming that emerges in discussions - so
victims aren't made more afraid to seek help, and perpetrators aren't
Monitor Your Local
Criminal Justice System's Responses to Rape, Domestic Violence,
and Child Abuse. Create independent citizen review of local
police and prosecutors, and of the written and unwritten policies
that guide them. Create independent panels where people can bring
complaints. Make response to violence against women an issue in
all electoral campaigns and hiring of public officials. (www.nacole.org)
Encourage Young Women
to Consider a Career in Law Enforcement. Track and publicize
the percentage of females in your police departments. Hire, Recruit,
and Promote Females in Policing. Fully integrating women into law
enforcement is essential for effective, consistent police response
to violence against women, and essential for bringing about the
many other proven benefits of women in policing. Learn those benefits!
Promote the Equality
of Women and Girls Everywhere, - Especially in the Home! Stereotypes
justifying the subordination of women also serve to justify violence
against women. Actively promoting female equality counteracts these
stereotypes, and fosters mutually respectful relationships.