Everyone deserves a healthy relationship. Unfortunately many teens don’t know what that looks like and fall prey to violence because it may be all they know, or don’t know, about. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and brings programs and presentations to teens across the country with the hope that educating them about what to expect in a healthy relationship will stop the cycle of violence that’s being accepted as normal.
Charlotte, North Carolina is offering many first rate events coordinated by Melissa Siegel, the current Chair of the national youth advisory board for Love is Respect. As an Information and Education Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Community Support Services Women’s Commission, Melissa is planning prevention and outreach efforts for teen dating violence and child witnessing of domestic violence.
Along with Melissa Siegel listeners will meet Juliana Lozano, a survivor of dating violence currently in graduate school at the University of South Carolina working toward achieving her Master in Social Work. Juliana was in a violent relationship with her son’s father for five years, but now uses that experience to teach others about the dangers and escalation of violence in a dating relationship.
Also on board for the show is Jimmeka Anderson, a core member of the committee for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) in Charlotte. She is the Founder and Executive Director of I AM not the Media, Inc., a non-profit organization for teens that empowers youth through media literacy. Jimmeka is also a writer, poet, spoken word artist, and public speaker for youth and young adults. In her current position at ImaginOn in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jimmeka serves as a Teen Services Specialist and Event Coordinator where she plans programs and large scale events for the teens in the city of Charlotte.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Charlotte
Community Awareness Event:
- Film Screening Sunday February 16th the Lifetime Movie Reviving Ophelia. After the screening we will have two discussion groups, one with the parents and one with the youth about teen dating violence and healthy relationships.
Promoting Respect Week:
- Respect Week is a national campaign during TDVAM. Respect Week (the week of February 10th) is an opportunity for young people to raise awareness about this important issue. Over the course of that week, there will be a national Wear Orange Day on Tuesday February 11th and a national Respect Announcement Day on Friday February 14th. A guide will also be released to give tips and tools for young people to create their own awareness activities from creating displays to organizing assemblies.
Host, Donna R. Gore “LadyJustice” and Victim Impact Statement Assistance
Donna Gore created a service program for crime victims and offers her assistance in creating a cohesive victim impact statement tailored to the individuals and their cases. She recognizes that this could be of great value to not only the crime victim, but to the court system as well.
By using Gore’s services a crime victim can be coached on how to best present their victim impact statement. From her vast experience volunteering in the courtroom, she is able to act as a liaison with advocates who may not have the same experiences. Working with the court advocates, attorneys, and prosecutors, not only will the crime victims’ voices be heard, they will be presented professionally, courteously, and effectively. click here for details