Teen Dating Violence Event at the White House
Several of our Start Strong Leaders and That’s Not Cool Ambassadors were lucky enough to attend a recent teen dating violence awareness event hosted at the White House! In addition to our program ambassadors, other invitees included school association representatives, organizations and non-profits, and family members of teens who were killed as a result of dating violence.
The event featured speakers from the Departments of Education and Justice, and ended with a group discussion with the teens in attendance. Vice President Biden even made a surprise visit to talk to the group about the importance of teen dating abuse prevention.
We could not be prouder of our Start Strong Leaders and That’s Not Cool Ambassadors—some of whom were kind enough to share their thoughts about the event! Read their impressions below:
Khadija Khan, Start Strong Idaho
“My trip to Washington, D.C was not only an incredible educational experience, but it was also one of complete empowerment. We were the ones in the room that everyone wanted to hear from and it meant a lot to know that important people care what we have to say about teen dating violence prevention! After all, teens are the experts.” Africa Smith, Start Strong Rhode Island “I took away many things from the event. It was clear from the statistics and testimonies teen dating violence is happening everywhere and affecting many girls and women…I also was honored to hear Vice President Biden’s speech about [the] re-authorization of the Violence Against Women’s Act, it was very strong willed and powerful…It was eye opening to learn that thousands of calls exist like this and so many women are being affected by domestic violence every day.”
Tinishia White, Start Strong Boston
“[VP Joe Biden] stated, "we have to be there [for teens] – to be their shields and their supporters." He was right! I have to be there for the young teens now so they know what a healthy relationship is and how to stay on that path. I feel relieved that the work I do at Start Strong makes a difference.”
Daniel Salato, Start Strong Idaho
“The fact that I was given the opportunity to represent the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual Domestic Violence and Idaho teenagers is extremely humbling. It was refreshing to have had the opportunity to offer my opinion to an attentive audience of professionals. The group of teenagers I traveled with and myself were treated as adults and were valued for the insight we had to offer. There are people in this country who are implementing changes, while minding the welfare of the constituents, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of something this influential.”
Hunter Pluckebaum, Start Strong Idaho
“Our trip to Washington, D.C. showed me that people care about teen dating violence. Teens all too often feel that our voices are not being heard when it comes to this issue, and this opportunity gave us the chance to speak up for all teens. It was even more amazing that people valued what we had to say.”