On January 27, The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors declared February 2015 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Sponsored by Vice Chairman Penelope Gross and Braddock District Supervisor John C. Cook the board presented the proclamation to Chantilly Youth Group Director Carmen Vargas. Wendy Claunch was happy to be included as the representative for DASH! Let’s make it a priority to spread the word about teen dating violence to our community during February!
For the third year in a row, DASH was awarded an ExxonMobil grant through the fundraising of its Employees’ Favorite Charities Campaign 2014. The Fairfax employees choose from among qualified charities to designate a donation. This year contributions reached a record $2,838,000 in support of more than 550 different non-profit organizations. During the past decade Fairfax employees have donated more than $29 million to area charities. Special thanks to ExxonMobil employee and DASH angel John Stipa for continuing to support DASH through his contributions to the campaign.
Join DASH angels Kitty, Dan and their dog, Dallas, at the 8th Annual K-9 Krawl sponsored by the Victims Services Unit of the Fairfax County Police Department. The Krawl is a free 5K walk and open to walkers and their dogs to highlight the connection between domestic violence and animal abuse. Often pets are caught in the middle of domestic violence and used to control or get revenge on the abused partner. Be sure to visit the DASH table and say hello!!
Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 am at Parking Lot C of the Fairfax County Government Center, 1200 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA.
North Carolina State University students Nick Ransom and Brianna Smith featured DASH in their Women and Gender in Science and Technology class project. The focus of the project was explore a problem facing women. Nick and Brianna chose to create a White Ribbon project featuring DASH. The White Ribbon Campaign is aimed at men to educate them about what they can do to prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Nick set up a table on the Mall in Washington, DC, to hand out DASH literature, bracelets, white ribbons, and offer information on the warning signs of dating abuse. He interviewed several people about their thoughts on dating abuse, among his favorite responses were from:
Josh, Montgomery County, MD – “…I always had a vague idea of what the warning signs were, but I never really knew for sure. I just figured I’d know it when I see it. It’s like common sense. I didn’t know that people in these kinds of relationships should create a safety plan for getting out.”
Tahlya, Houston, TX – “Wow. Just wow. I’m so happy all of y’all are doing this! This makes my day so much better. … Seeing young people, especially young men coming out here to educate the public. I didn’t know people will try to limit your social circle. I mean, I guess my boyfriend could want me to himself all the time. But, hopefully he would never keep me from going out and getting some “me time” with my friends. That’s eye opening.”
Brianna wrote and presented the final paper on the team’s research on dating abuse. Both combined their findings and experiences to create a website and presentation. Their team reflection written by Brianna gives a summary of their experience:
Our project in many ways was one of caring. Both Nick and I are in the Navy and we have taken an oath to help others and our country. There are so many things that are truly despicable about human behavior and abuse is one of the most saddening. We both felt compelled to undertake a project that would help to bring awareness to the issue of violence with dating violence being highlighted. It was very special because I offered a female perspective and Nick offered a male viewpoint. We each had our own ideas and perspectives regarding the issue of abuse, but we were able to find a common ground, create a cohesive team, learn some valuable insight, and offer an educational opportunity for others.
DASH is so very proud to have friends like Nick and Brianna to help us in our mission to educate the community on dating abuse.