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Community Wide Plan Explores the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Education

By:  Mary-Margaret Sweeney, Director of Community Engagement, DVN

It always seems like I look at my calendar and think that surely soon there will be a break in the domestic violence and sexual assault prevention work world. February is already off to a quick start with Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, followed quickly by Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, and before you know it we will be preparing for October and Domestic Violence Awareness Month which entails many conferences, training requests, and awareness events. The truth is, the problems of DV and SA know no season, and so, our work cycles on.

In addition to the annual topics we observe each year, DVN is entering the second year of our Community Wide Plan, Intersections, guiding the rhythm of our year. The first half of 2018 we are exploring the Intersection of domestic violence and education. After the first month of exploring this topic, we already have many new plans and connections in the community to show for it. During the month of February, we are saturating our social media platforms with information on teen dating violence. Our staff researched statistics, warning signs, Title IX policy, and teen dating violence in specific populations, and created visuals to flood social media with information. We will be posting several videos with colleagues engaged in teen dating violence prevention work as the month goes on. Please feel free to share our facts to educate your social media network!

We also had a meaningful training for our Advocate Network which was facilitated by Burton Patterson, Rape Prevention Education Coordinator for Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault (ICESA). Advocates learned about Burton’s programming on college campuses that engages fraternities and teaches them to end sexual assault through critical conversations on gender identity, toxic masculinity, bystander intervention, and a deep exploration of their own feelings, thoughts, and values around gender equity. Much discussion centered around the need for men to do this work in addition to the thousands of women who have worked silently for generations. 

This training and the ongoing conversations that lingered as we stacked chairs and people made their to the parking lot inspire me as I plan trainings and events for the next five months surrounding this topic. The Community Wide Plan is not static, but created to be a dynamic collaboration with our community. As I watched attendees glean inspiration from our first time together in the new year, I saw that while it is my job to orchestrate the Community Wide Plan, it is really all of you, our Network, who make it a reality.

Community Partners Engaged on Education and Domestic Violence (stay tuned for exciting events and programs with these fine folks!):
-Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault (ICESA)
-The Journey Fellowship
-Department of Education
-Indiana Youth Services Organization
-Peace Learning Center
-Institute for Working Families
-The Julian Center
-Turning Point

To view a complete list of educational opportunities with descriptions click HERE. To schedule a training, please contact me at: or 317.872.1086.
To view our social media campaign for #TDVAM, visit our Facebook and our Instagram!

Written by Mary-Margaret Sweeney, DVN’s Director of Community Engagement