FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 25, 2010
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Lead Teen Dating Violence Abuse Experts Unite at Capitol Hill to Urge Increased Prevention Efforts

Innovative New Educational Initiatives Announced to Combat This Urgent Problem, Keep Youth Safe

 

Washington, DC -- New promising programs and tools that communities, schools and parents can use to address teen dating violence are being announced by The Family Violence Prevention Fund, Liz Claiborne Inc., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Jewish Women International, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships today on Capitol Hill.

The Family Violence Prevention Fund will be discussing innovative education efforts through Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Start Strong: Build Healthy Teen Relationships program. One example is a new tool called CODE OF CONDUCT, a first of its kind immersive video game focused on teen dating violence prevention.
“Dating violence affects every school and every community. We urgently need – and our youth deserve – a comprehensive prevention response from schools, parents, teens themselves, and the government,” says Kiersten Stewart, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Family Violence Prevention Fund, who is also moderating the event.
Liz Claiborne Inc. is launching much needed education initiatives to reduce the pervasive epidemic of teen dating violence and abuse. The Love Is Not Abuse teen dating abuse curriculum, already in over 7,000 schools in the country, has been expanded to include a section on digital dating abuse, making it the first comprehensive curriculum of its kind to address digital abuse. 
At the same time, Liz Claiborne Inc. is teaming up with the CDC to announce the first online and free training program designed to teach educators about how best to teach courses on teen dating violence and abuse. The 60 minute training, Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence, will be available to middle school and high school teachers, equipping them with the skills needed to teach this difficult yet essential subject in schools.
“In this increasingly digitized world, it is imperative that we provide our youth with the information and resources to stay safe,” said Jane Randel, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc. “By adding a section on digital dating abuse to the Love Is Not Abuse curriculum, and by partnering with CDC to launch an online training course for teachers and educators, we can ensure that teens across the country will be taught about all aspects of dating violence and abuse.” 
Jewish Women International (JWI) will discuss the positive impact of faith-driven programming in dating violence prevention. In an effort to create programs for teens nationwide around healthy relationships, JWI most recently launched their healthy relationships curriculum and campaign in partnership with United Synagogue Youth.
“Every teen should have access to a structured education about dating and relationships,” said Jewish Women International Executive Director Loribeth Weinstein. “Dedicating a month to awareness about teen dating violence is a great step, but we need to take it further – for example, advocate for mandatory healthy relationship training in our schools, religious institutions and sports teams. It’s at least as important as health or gym class, which are non-academic and required.”
The press briefing also marks the coming together of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Liz Claiborne Inc., the CDC, the Department of Justice, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, loveisrespect.org, MTV, Break the Cycle, JWI, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships in an effort to urge educators, communities and parents to take advantage of all available educational opportunities aimed at protecting our teens from dating violence and abuse.
 

About Family Violence Prevention Fund

The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end violence against women and children around the world, because every person has the right to live free of violence. The FVPF has continued to break new ground by reaching new audiences including men and youth, promoting leadership within communities to ensure that violence prevention efforts become self-sustaining, and transforming the way health care providers, police, judges, employers and others respond to violence. Its public education campaigns, conducted in partnership with The Advertising Council, have shaped public awareness and changed social norms for 15 years.  For more information, visit www.endabuse.org.

About Liz Claiborne Inc.
Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc has been working to end domestic violence. Through its Love Is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools that men, women, teens and corporate executives can use to learn more about the issue and find out how they can help end this epidemic. www.loveisnotabuse.com.

About Jewish Women International

Jewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization empowering women and girls through economic literacy, community training, healthy relationships education, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Our innovative programs, advocacy, and philanthropic initiatives protect the fundamental rights of all girls and women to live in safe homes, thrive in healthy relationships, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. For more information, please visit www.jwi.org or contact us at 800.343.2823.

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