Prevention is essential to breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Starting with youth is important. Children that are abused, neglected, or watch a parent endure abuse are at risk to experience violence as an adult. Training programs, presentations, and seminars that are specifically geared towards education and prevention are available for community members, volunteers, community groups, schools and universities, faith-based groups, work places, health care providers, and legal personnel.
Here are some ideas of things you can do to get involved with education and prevention within domestic violence:
Speak with young kids/adults:
Speaking to young kids and young adults is a crucial part of education and prevention of domestic violence. Instilling values and respect for people is important to both a child’s and a young adult’s development. There are many ways you can speak with people about domestic violence. A lot of schools and teachers are willing to let trained professional and people who work in the field give presentations about domestic violence. Also, different organizations like Girl/Boy Scouts, 4H, high school clubs, etc. actively seek out educational presenters. Even if you aren’t trained or working in the field now, you can help organize small and large presentations by contacting local people such as but not limited to: people who work in the shelters, police officers, county attorneys, lawyers, volunteers, etc.
Start a program at work or at school:
Intimate partner violence is not something that just happens at home. It can happen in school, at work, and sometimes even in public. Employers and school officials should be looking for issues of domestic violence/sexual assault and addressing them immediately. Many employers and schools have created specific policies and guidelines to prevent intimate partner violence and sexual assault in the workplace.
Create organization on campus or at a high school (and even with younger kids):
Creating an organization where you go to school is one way to get involved and make a lasting impact on your community. If your school does not already have a group or organization that is dedicated to the domestic violence cause, consider starting one. If you are starting one at your high school, you must get approval from your principal and possibly your superintendent and/or school board. It also is important to have your sponsor selected beforehand. Universities and college have more stringent requirements for starting an organization. Most schools require an application with supporting information such as the name and address, type of organization, location of funds, name of advisor, contact information of the president and treasurer, and so on. You want to have a statement of purpose and why your school needs the organization. Also, most schools require a constitution and the by-laws.
Here are some organizations you can get involved with, or you can use these ideas to brainstorm and start your own program.
The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence is an organization who helps employers and employees start a DV/SA program in their workplace. They have articles and tools you can utilize for categories such as workplace violence, domestic violence 101, employee education, safety and support, creating policies/plans, workplace security, employees who batter, and dating violence.
Say NO- UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a social mobilization platform on ending violence against women and girls, contributing towards UN Secretary General’s system -wide campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women. Launched in November 2009 by UN Women, Say NO – UNiTE showcases advocacy efforts and engages people from all walks of life, online and on the ground.
Futures Without Violence Everyone has the right to live free of violence. Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund, works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.
Break the Cycle believes everyone has the right to safe and healthy relationships. They are the leading, national nonprofit organization addressing teen dating violence. They work every day towards their mission to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence.