Teen Advocacy Academy 2020
July 23rd concluded the first ever session of DVSAS Teen Advocacy Academy! Over the three week program, 11 participants from 7 different high schools throughout Whatcom County came together to learn about domestic violence, sexual assault, power/privilege/oppression, advocacy, and violence prevention. After rigorous training, these Teen Advocates worked together to create a strategic plan and vision for a new, youth led, Peer Advocacy and Education group, to be hosted through DVSAS. These future Peer Advocates and Peer Educators also collaborated on a video showcasing the knowledge that they have gained, and the program they will soon be piloting. See the video below!
You can choose to play a key role in ending violence.
Listen to and believe victims
False reporting when it comes to either domestic violence or sexual assault is rare. In fact, every 98 seconds, someone in the U.S. in sexually assaulted. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1
It is important to listen and believe someone when they disclose.
Change the way you think about gender
Our society has a set of ideas about how we expect men and women, boys and girls, to dress, behave, and present themselves. Extreme gender stereotypes are harmful because they don’t allow people to fully express themselves and their emotions.
For example, it’s harmful to masculine folks to feel that they’re not allowed to cry or express sensitive emotions. And it’s harmful to feminine folks to feel that they’re not allowed to be independent, smart or assertive. Breaking down gender stereotypes allows everyone to be their best selves.2
Teach the children in your life about consent
Teaching a kid about consent has nothing to do with teaching them about sex. It’s about respecting boundaries. The videos provided on the right are an amazing way to get this conversation started. 3
Speak up when you hear something wrong, own up to it when you do something wrong
Speak out if you hear someone else make an offensive joke or trivializing rape. Hold abusers accountable for their actions; do not let them make excuses like blaming the victim, alcohol, or drugs for their behavior.