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#TDVAM 2015

26

Jul
2015

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In #TDVAM 2015
Events
News

By PBJ

Summer Action Research Internship

On 26, Jul 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015, Events, News | By PBJ

In August, PBJ will launch its new summer program. The Summer Action Research Internship (ARI) is a six-day long participatory inquiry project that will look at sexual health education and policies in Boulder Valley School District. We believe that the knowledge that young people carry about their every day life experiences is invaluable for informing the structures, policies, and curriculum that directly affect them. Read more…

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23

Feb
2015

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In #TDVAM 2015
News

By PBJ

Beauty and the Beast

On 23, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015, News | By PBJ

“Beauty and the Beast” starts with an unusual woman named Belle who, get this, is both beautiful and intelligent. Now Belle gives the audience hope that this might actually be a movie that accurately portrays women as three dimensional characters and human beings rather than dolls who are pretty and sing a lot. However, throughout the next eighty four minutes that argument is severely different. Read more…

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18

Feb
2015

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In #TDVAM 2015

By PBJ

boys will be boys…

On 18, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

bell hooks first published her definition of feminism as, “…a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression,” within her book Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Within Feminism is for Everybody, a book published by hooks ten years later, she expressed the following statement in regards to the role of men within feminist movement. Read more…

17

Feb
2015

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By PBJ

Ray Rice, a verb?

On 17, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

I’ve never been a fan of FOX, but that simply means that I am not their target audience. In fact, FOX’s average age of viewers is 68, and a majority of them are politically conservative and white. I am far from 68, politically conservative or white. Read more…

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16

Feb
2015

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In #TDVAM 2015

By PBJ

Guest Post on 50 Shades of Gray

On 16, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

Heads up: This post contains a description of abuse and some profanity.

I spent over a year in a profoundly emotionally abusive relationship with a partner who internalized the idea of all-encompassing romance, isolated me almost entirely from my friends, feigned injuries and crises and middle of the night breakdowns if I tried to spend time with other people or dared to sleep alone in my own bed, physically tracked me down when I turned my phone off, self-injured to make me stay, showed up unannounced and crying at night when I tried to be alone, and threatened suicide when I questioned this type of relationship or tried to leave. When I finally left, they screamed at me that they couldn’t wait until I woke up one morning and realized how much I hated myself. They also dragged me to Twilight films, yelled at me in public for laughing at their absurdity, got out of a moving car and refused to get back in and threw a loud public scene when I criticized the on-screen relationships.

I’m not naive enough to believe that Twilight is the root of this problem. But as someone who spent a year of my life in isolation, in fear, in a really fucking dark hole that I was fairly sure I was not going to get out of and repeatedly, publicly defended to my friends and family, I know that the cultural conflation of this type of relationship with romance is bolstered by big media. It is bolstered by kids and rom-com movies, where we are told to keep stalking women into submission, to refuse to listen to women who say no, because all a woman really wants is to be won. This idea that obsession is romantic has grown up in 50 Shades of Grey in a way that its predecessor, Twilight, couldn’t. It linked this obsessive romance with erotica. It has taken what is otherwise an important book, a book that did, regardless of how, shine light on women as sexual agents with the freedom and want for sexual (and kinky) autonomy. That’s great. That’s important. But this isn’t a film about erotica. We are not talking about emotional control and consensual power dynamics in erotica anymore when this film is marketed AS romance. It is marketed for Valentines Day. It is heralded as the cultural awakening of women’s sexuality as synonymous with romantic relationships. That fucking terrifies me.

I don’t care about the sex in 50 shades of grey. The sex is fine. The non-sexual relationship, however, is terrifying. I am terrified that this film is being made, I am horrified that it is being released on a day devoted to the capitalistic consumption of ‘love’ and romance. Last night I read an article written by a woman in a formerly abusive relationship who went to the premiere intending to make fun of it and left scared and crying. BDSM, kink, consensual power play, the sexual aspects of this book should be embraced in actuality. But emotional abuse, control, isolation, constant fear, being followed and yelled at and punished is not fun, sexy, or hot. It is devastating. It took so much of my life. It changed who I am. This film is coming out tomorrow, and I am so, so sad.

This guest post is written by Meredith Loken.

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13

Feb
2015

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In #TDVAM 2015

By PBJ

KGNU interview

On 13, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

Listen here to the full interview on KGNU’s Public Affair.

V-Day 2015: Combatting teen violence
Miriam Schiff and her panelists will discuss the rise in teen violence, and will advice parents on how to talk to your children about teen violence, and give advice on what parents need to look for, as well as the impact of society norms. We will be talking with panelists representing Safe House Progressive Alliance for Non violence, Mesa, Peers Building Justice an elementary and middle school program, as they discuss programs they are utilizing to have teens and youth become aware of teen violence.

Our panelists are Molly Aber: BVSD Student; Peers Building Justice Campus Organizer Amanda Kemphues: Prevention Education Coordinator; MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault.) John Diaz Cortes: Spanish Bilingual Nonviolence Elementary & Middle School Educator; Peers Building Justice.

You can contact Safe House at www.safehousealliance.org or call them at 303-444-2424.

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12

Feb
2015

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By PBJ

It’s all connected: a longer response to mansplaining trolls

On 12, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

Earlier today, PBJ had the opportunity to join Miriam Schiff on KGNU’s program, A Public Affair. For about an hour, we had a fruitful discussion on the topic of teen dating violence and how it manifests itself within our local context. Towards the end of the program we received calls from listeners. The last caller threw us all for a loop with a rather long-winded mansplaination

After an almost inaudible preamble, our caller presented the observation that the earlier part of our show had been full of tangential rhetoric that had not accurately addressed the topic of teen dating violence. Although his call was hard to hear, it surfaced that he was under the impression that teen dating violence was a problem found within a vacuum. A problem within a vacuum, needing to be addressed individually without regard to the multiple forms of oppression and violence that we had been discussing. A problem within a vacuum, that we were obviously addressing incorrectly.

Whether or not this call was well-intentioned, it does provide us with yet another opportunity to further discuss some of the root causes of teen dating violence and its connectedness to all forms of oppression.

Although teen dating violence is often portrayed as an interpersonal conflict between two people, there is much more at play. When we discuss teen dating violence within our workshops we incorporate discussions of power and oppression; before discussing the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Although violence is inexcusable and it is ultimately one’s choice whether to use violence or not, the norms found throughout our society send conflicting messages in regards to violence and when its use is appropriate.

Understanding the influence of these mixed messages allows us to see the problem of teen dating violence as much larger than an interpersonal conflict. It is a societal problem that needs to be addressed as such. Since teen relationships do not occur within a vacuum, the power imbalances found within society find their way into intimate relationships of young and older folks. These power imbalances then become tools of oppression within unhealthy relationships.

The violence found within teen relationships is also intricately connected to all other forms of violence, because at its root lies power and control. A deconstruction of varying forms of oppression shows that power and control are the foundation of all -isms. The -isms discussed last week are tools used by those with more power over those with less. The same is true for unhealthy teen dating relationships. Within unhealthy relationships, the person with more power uses violence (physical, emotional, verbal, sexual) to gain power and control over their partner. One person’s world gets smaller as the other’s gets bigger. Looking at teen dating violence as a microcosm of the violence found at more systemic levels, allows us to see just how closely related they are.

As we look closer, we realize the relatedness of teen dating violence to the Islamophobic killings in North Carolina, the racist policing throughout the United States, the sexist policing of uteri by government, the transphobic murder of trans* people of color, the sexist/classist/racist skeleton of the prison industrial complex, and many more forms of oppression. As we deconstruct the problem of violence, we realize that violence against anyone is violence against everyone. It is our job as anti-oppression educators and activists to call it out whenever and wherever.

So yes, while a large portion of the education that we do within Peers building Justice (PBJ) revolves around the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, it is equally integral to our work that we continue the dismantling of various forms of oppression within our society. As Shiri Eisner reminds us in Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution, “It means understanding that different kinds of oppression are interlinked, and that one can’t liberate only one group without the others. It means acknowledging kyriarchy and intersectionality – the fact that along different axes, we’re all both oppressed and oppressors, privileged and disprivileged.” With this reminder, PBJ continues to raise awareness about teen dating violence while working to dismantle all forms of oppression whenever and wherever they appear.

So, save your mansplainations. We’re on the right track.

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11

Feb
2015

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By PBJ

Safety Plan

On 11, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

During yesterday’s blog post, we discussed a few ways to be a good friend to someone experiencing abuse within their relationship. One of the steps was helping them create a safety plan. A safety plan is a guide that helps you think of ways to achieve a greater level of safety if/and when you interact with your partner. Today’s blog post will highlight some ideas to include when creating a safety plan.

 

Tell someone
If you can (feel safe enough), talk to a friend, trusted adult, teacher, neighbor, parent/caregiver, and let them know what is going on in your relationship and how you’d like for them to support you.

 

Find a safe place
Find a place where you feel safe. This can be a public place, a room in your house, a friend’s house, etc. If you feel safe enough, let a friend and/or trusted adult know about your safe place.

 

Change up your routine/schedule
If you think that your partner may be following/stalking you, try using multiple routes to and from school, work, etc. Also, try varying your schedule by leaving appointments at different times each day. Make sure to let people you trust know where you are going and when you are coming back.

 

Document the abuse
If you can, save abusive text messages, emails, voice mails, destruction of property, and photos. If you wish to go through the legal process, this can help your case.

 

Meet in public
If you need to meet with your partner, make sure that it’s done in a public place with many witnesses. Try not to be alone with your partner and avoid rooms without an exit, kitchens, bathrooms, garages, or any other secluded rooms with access to potential weapons.

 

Protect your social networks
Make sure that you are aware of your privacy settings on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. Your partner may use this information to track your location. If this is a concern, avoid publishing your location and make sure that your information is only visible to the people you trust.

 

Travel with friends
Make sure you have friends to travel with to and from school and/or work, and in between classes.

 

Create a code word
Create a code word that you can use to tell someone if you are in danger, without your partner knowing.

 

Make a list
Create a list of local resources and/or hotlines to reach out to when in danger or to seek support. Include police, domestic violence/sexual assault organizations, local shelters, etc.

 

Keep it safe
Keep your safety plan somewhere safe and with you at all times.

 

If at any point you have questions and/or need to speak to someone about your relationship, please call either the SPAN (303) 444-2424 or MESA (303) 443-7300 hotlines. MESA and SPAN have specially trained counselors who are available 24/7/365. The hotlines are free, and they also have Spanish-speaking counselors.

You don’t need to be in crisis to call the phone numbers. You can call anytime, even if just to say, ‘I saw something happen between two friends of mine and I didn’t know what to think,’ or ‘I’m just looking for some information.’

Anyone can call these numbers. You can call about a friend, a family member, or about yourself. The call is totally confidential and you don’t need to give the counselor personal information about yourself such as your name and phone number. You can use a fake name or no name if you want.

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10

Feb
2015

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By PBJ

My friend…

On 10, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

Today we are going to talk a bit about how to be a good friend to someone who is experiencing abuse within a relationship. Feel free to use the following list as a guideline on how to support your friend(s).

 

1) Believe your friend
Listen and believe your friend’s story. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone about experiencing violence. Make sure that your friend knows that you believe them and are there for them.

 

2) Let them know that they do not deserve to be abused
Many times the person using abuse makes the person being abused believe that the violence is their fault. Let your friend know that the violence is not their fault and that they never, under any circumstance, deserve to be abused.

 

3) Present resources
Compile a list of local and national resources for your friend to reach out to, when they are ready. For Boulder, we have already mentioned the SPAN (303) 444-2424 and MESA (303) 443-7300 hotlines as local resources.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1(800) 799-7233
breakthecycle.org
loveisrespect.org

 

4) Help them create a Safety Plan
Help your friend compile a list of resources, of trusted adults, and emergency services that they can reach out to in a time of need. Help them think of ideas that have kept them safe. Make sure they have a safe place to seek refuge in and that they interact with their partner in public spaces.

 

5) Let them make their own decisions
Telling your friend what to do, will only further perpetuate the lack of control that they may be feeling in their life. It is important that they make their own decisions. Provide a list of resources and talk about who can help. They will make the choice to seek help when they feel safe and ready. They are the experts in their own life and experience.

 

6) Keep it to yourself
Unless your friend is under immediate danger, make sure that you are respecting your friend’s privacy and allow them to make their own decisions. If you feel that your friend is in danger, speak to a trusted adult about how to seek help.

 

7) Take care of yourself
Remember that there is only so much that you can do. Once you have worked with your friend to compile a safety plan and have listened empathically, it is up to them to decide how to proceed in their relationship. It is important that throughout this experience you also take care of yourself. It is important to process your own feelings with someone you trust. When doing this, make sure you are sharing the plot and not the characters. That is, unless your friend is in immediate danger, you share the story without breaking your friend’s request for confidentiality. You can also reach out to the SPAN (303) 444-2424 and/or MESA (303) 443-7300 hotlines to speak confidentially to someone that can provide support 24/7.

If at any point you have questions and/or need to speak to someone about a friend’s relationship, please call either the SPAN (303) 444-2424 or MESA (303) 443-7300 hotlines. MESA and SPAN have specially trained counselors who are available 24/7/365. The hotlines are free, and they also have Spanish-speaking counselors.

You don’t need to be in crisis to call the phone numbers. You can call anytime, even if just to say, ‘I saw something happen between two friends of mine and I didn’t know what to think,’ or ‘I’m just looking for some information.’

Anyone can call these numbers. You can call about a friend, a family member, or about yourself. The call is totally confidential and you don’t need to give the counselor personal information about yourself such as your name and phone number. You can use a fake name or no name if you want.

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09

Feb
2015

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By PBJ

Interview with Sherry & Evan

On 09, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In #TDVAM 2015 | By PBJ

This month, the counseling team at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) is starting a new drop-in group for youth affected by violence. PBJ caught up with Sherry & Evan, counseling interns at SPAN, to learn more about this much needed resource for Boulder youth.

Teen Group @ SPAN
Every Friday, 4:30-5:30 pm

Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence
835 North Street
Boulder, CO 80304

For more info contact Evan and/or Sherry at 303.449.8623

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Evan: I am a 3rd year graduate student in Naropa University’s Wilderness Therapy Program and a counseling intern at SPAN. I love hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing and anything else outdoors. I see access to the outdoors as a basic human right and fundamental to any healing process. I am also a musician and play the bass and guitar. I love rock and roll, hip-hop, jazz and funk (I play a mean slap-bass)!

Sherry: I am a 3rd year graduate student in Naropa University’s Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program and a counseling intern at SPAN. I am a lineage holder of an ancient Filipino style of martial arts. It informs me spiritually and how to see possibilities in young peoples’ lives. My sense of identity was formed at a young age as part of the people power movement – a nonviolent movement aimed at social change in the Philippines which my parents were leaders within.

 

What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned throughout your internship at SPAN?

Sherry: To stand out, to be different, that martial arts is in everything and that the legacy I carry with me is both ancient and pertains to my everyday life in meaningful ways.

Evan: During my internship I have had the privilege of facilitating groups for young people who are incarcerated. I have learned a lot about prison justice and the experiences of young people who are incarcerated. Importantly, I have learned that sustainable social change comes, in part, from challenging the oppressions that most effect young people.

 

Where did the idea to form this group come from?

Evan: The idea for this group originally came from Amanda Nicholas who was formally SPAN’s Bilingual Transitional Housing Services Advocate (she has since moved on to work for Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services). One day we were chatting about teens, oppression and empowerment and she suddenly exclaimed, “We need a teen group!” I said, “Okay!”

 

Who is this group intended for?

Sherry: This group is intended for all people aged 11-17. As a SPAN group we will specifically cater to people who have been affected by violence. We look forward to creating a space which is inclusive of all races, ethnicities, genders and abilities.

 

When and where will this group take place?

Evan: This group happens every Friday from 4:30 – 5:30 at SPAN’s Outreach Center. We ask that participants show up at the beginning as we may go outside on nice days!

 

What types of activities do you have planned?

Sherry: We will be using martial arts in a dance context as an art form and as a vehicle to express all emotions nonviolently.

Evan: I look forward to good conversations and shared learning. We will be bringing in educational pieces that fit the group’s needs. I also look forward to going outside in nice weather and bringing in some musical elements!

 

What are you looking forward to the most out of facilitating this group?

Sherry: Creativity and ways for young people to express themselves through spoken words, through the body and through movement.

Evan: Learning from others and supporting young people in their lives. Supporting a space where young people can connect and support each other.

 

Any words for youth tentatively interested in attending?

Evan: We need you. We need to learn from you and we need you to help us make the world a place that values all lives equally.

Sherry: Come and express yourself in ways that transform yourself! Our approaches to healing extend way beyond traditional western thought.

Teen Group @ SPAN
Every Friday, 4:30-5:30 pm

Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence
835 North Street
Boulder, CO 80304

For more info contact Evan and/or Sherry at 303.449.8623

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