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Give Back on #GivingTuesday!

November 27th, 2017

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes #GivingTuesday! To help celebrate this global day of giving on Tuesday, November 28th, AWARE® Teen Advisory Board members came up with ten ways to give back in addition to making a donation as a part of JCADA's Give $10 Share 10 Challenge. 

Here are the AWARE® Teen Advisory Board's ten ways to support victims and raise awareness about teen dating violence on #GivingTuesday:
  1. Share facts about teen dating violence and local support resources on your own social media. Create your own or follow AWARE® on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for helpful information to re-post!
  2. Give out AWARE® & JCADA fact sheets and brochures at your school.
  3. Advocate for more teen dating violence prevention and healthy relationship education in health classes.
  4. Submit op-eds about teen dating violence and available resources for victims to schools and local papers.
  5. Use morning assemblies or announcements as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness schoolwide.
  6. Create an educator toolkit for teachers and club leaders with helpful fact sheets, current events articles, and relevant books and movies.
  7. Think up some creative places for educational flyers (inside bathroom stalls or locker notes).
  8. Host a viewing party of a relevant movie for friends or a school club followed by a discussion of the issues.
  9. Start the conversation! Let people know when and where you'll be available to chat with them if they have any questions about teen dating violence or if they need to be connected to support resources.
  10. Give out awareness pins with factoids about teen dating violence and ask people to wear them show their support for victims.
Learn more and join JCADA's Give $10 Share 10 Challenge at


Posted by AWARE Team | Topic: AWARE® All-stars  | Category: Donating, Giving Tuesday

by Cha'koya Smith AWARE® Program Coordinator

Just as Domestic Violence Awareness Month kicked off in October, prominent actresses and other professionals in Hollywood began publicly disclosing their experiences of sexual assault and harassment with film producer, Harvey Weinstein. As more and more victims came forward, other men and women throughout the country have felt empowered to share their own stories across social media using #MeToo. The #MeToo campaign not only gave people a way to talk about a shared experience, it also led others, like Veronica Ruckh, to question why they couldn’t bring themselves to share their account of sexual assault even though they identified with the experiences of many.


In Ruckh’s article, “Literally, Why Can’t I Say #MeToo?” she details feelings of guilt and self-doubt with acknowledging her experience with sexual assault and rape. These feelings that are so common among victims of abuse, along with the fear of not being believed, can pose huge barriers to victims from coming forward to get the help they need. So how can we use this moment to support our friends and loved ones that may be suffering abuse reach out for help? Start the conversation.

Here are some talking points that you may find useful in navigating discussions on sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse:

  •  Abuse happens in all communities. The Harvey Weinstein scandal dispels perceptions that certain people or communities are above or immune to abuse. Weinstein's socioeconomic status, education, and professional success did not preclude him from being a perpetrator of violence, nor did those same factors preclude his victims from experiencing abuse.
  •  It's about power and control. Some find it difficult to connect the dots between sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic abuse, but they are all about one person using certain behaviors to exert their power and control over another.
  • Start by believing. When someone discloses abuse, our initial reactions can make the difference as to whether or not a victim will reach out for further help. It may be difficult to accept if you know the perpetrator, but believe what a victim has been brave enough to share with you, do not minimize the situation or their feelings, and offer to connect them to expert support resources, like JCADA. Further, avoid questions or statements that place blame on the victim and suggest that they did anything to deserve what happened. A validating and supportive response to a disclosure can be the key to opening the door to health and safety for our loved ones.
  • #MeToo. The #MeToo campaign highlights the positive impact social media can have for raising awareness and building a connected community of survivors. Isolation is a powerful tactic used by perpetrators to cut off their victims from friends, family, and resources which makes it especially difficult to reach out for help. Seeing how many other people have undergone similar experiences and are willing to share their stories drives a feeling of social connection that can be incredibly healing. It further helps victims identify additional support systems in their own lives who they can turn to.

If you or someoneyou know is experiencing domestic or dating abuse, please contact JCADA forsupport on our confidential helpline: 1-877-88-JCADA (52232).


By Sophie Shapiro, AWARE® Intern

“Snap Map” is the latest feature the popular app Snapchat has to offer to teens and young adults everywhere. However, this new way of socializing may appeal to predators or contribute to stalking behaviors. With one swipe you can access the whereabouts of your Snapchat friends and, should you choose to opt into this feature, they can see your location as well. That’s right! Your Snapchat friends can see your exact street address. 

The map also reveals who you’re with and when you’re on the go. With its risks outweighing its social benefits, Snap Map may pose a threat to teens’ safety and privacy.

Designed for purely social benefits, Snap Map lets users know their friends’ whereabouts at all times. Users can also post all the fun they’re having at specific locations on the map and view events worldwide.

The feature has been met with more criticism and concern than praise. According to Omnicore’s statistics, 71% of Snapchat users are under the age of 34, a younger demographic more vulnerable to stalking made much easier by Snap Map. For those in an unhealthy relationship, the feature has made it much easier for their abusive partners to track their whereabouts and keep tabs on who else they may be around.

Location features can be used on other social media platforms besides Snapchatt. Instagram and Facebook both allow users to tag their location in a post. Twitter also allows users to tag which city they are tweeting from. Everyone should be aware of how these location features can impact their privacy. Every app has a section on privacy settings that allow users to customize how much they want to share with others. 


·        Review Privacy Settings: Most online accounts, not just on social media, let users choose what others can see. Check the privacy of status updates and profile information.

·        Minimize Use of Location Settings: The GPS in your phone could be sharing your location without you realizing it! Check your phone settings to disable location sharing on your apps.

·        Be Thoughtful about Connecting Social Media Accounts: Connecting accounts can make it easier to update them all in one action, but be conscious of how connecting accounts can make your account available to more people. Connecting accounts makes it harder secure your privacy.

·        Use Strong Passwords: Don’t use the same password on all accounts! Make sure passwords are not so personal that a friend could guess them. When possible, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

·        Don’t Accept a Strangers’ Follow Request: Having more followers is not worth hindering your online safety! Think about who you want to see your photos and information before accepting any follow requests.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or dating abuse, please contact JCADA for support on our confidential helpline: 1-877-88-JCADA(52232).



Posted by AWARE Team | Topic: Teens & Technology  | Category: Techonology

AWARE® is dedicated to empowering teens and young adults with the skills and information they need to build healthy relationships.
Email: • Office: 301.315.8040 • Confidential Helpline: 877.885.2232