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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Too Realistic for Reality TV?

One of MTV’s highest rated shows is “Teen Mom”, a reality show that depicts the struggles young mothers face in their lives. On the show’s September 28th episode, viewers witnessed a violent fight between teen parents Amber and Gary. Amber violently kicked, punched, and slapped her boyfriend and father of her baby, all while in the presence of their 23 month old daughter. Almost more shocking than the physical acts of violence was the verbal abuse that accompanied it. Amber was shown calling her boyfriend “a fat piece of trash” and telling him that he would never amount to anything. The fight was harsh enough to warrant the attention of the Indiana police and Child Protective Services, both of which are currently investigating the fight and contemplating further action.

What happens when sensationalism becomes real life? At what point does the statistic that 1 in 4 young women are victims of abuse become too real to air on television? As instances of intimate partner abuse rise, so do their depictions on television. And the debate is real: is domestic violence on the rise due to  nonchalant portrayals in the media or is the media just a reflection of what’s going on in society?

In contrast, “Abusers” is a new intervention reality show that was recently announced to be in the early production stages. Producers of the show claim that it will depict real-life cases of domestic violence and offer counseling and support for both the abuser and the victim. According to its press release, “Abusers” does not intend to sensationalize domestic abuse but instead wants to help educate the public on an often taboo topic. The series is still being shopped around to major television networks, so only time will tell how influential and informative a show like “Abusers” could be.

While I see the benefits of bringing taboos out into the open, I’ll remain skeptical about “Abusers” until the final product is aired. There’s a fine line between education and exploitation; a line that can be easily crossed despite good intentions. To avoid approaching into shock value territory, “Abusers” needs to show the viewer that stopping violence between intimate partners isn’t as simple as stopping the physical hitting, as “Teen Mom” Amber promised she’d do. Rather, it’s about transforming a pattern of behavior and stopping abuses of power.

What’s your opinion – do you think “Abusers” will be able to realistically display the cycle of domestic violence in a non-exploitive way, or should networks shy away from airing these abusive scenes?

The Avon Foundation for Women has Awarded a $50,000 Grant to Next Door Solutions!

SAN JOSE, CA/ OCT. 13, 2010 –

The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $50,000 one-year grant to Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence for the creation and funding of the Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program to make an immediate, tangible difference for domestic violence survivors by providing them with guidance and assistance to create independent, violence-free lives. The Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program is the focus of the 2010 Avon Foundation for Women’s annual awards program under the auspices of the Foundation’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence is among one of the 32 grant recipients selected from among close to 150 applicants nationwide.

As a grant recipient of the Avon Empowerment Self-Sufficiency Program, Next Door will help domestic violence survivors create better lives for themselves and their families. DV agencies have faced reductions in funds, while the need for services are at unprecedented levels, and the Avon Foundation is proud to support these 32 full-time positions.

Domestic violence victims may be less likely to leave and stay away from abusers if they have limited hope of achieving economic stability on their own. Additionally, this lack of economic stability or programs may increase the likelihood of a return to the abuser or lead to homelessness. This vital program will address these issues and will extend the services that current Self Sufficiency Advocates provide by increasing the response to the needs of domestic violence victims through the hiring and employment of a Self Sufficiency Coordinator.

Carol Kurzig, President, Avon Foundation for Women, noted that “Next Door Solutions is delivering critical services to the domestic violence survivors and their families.  We are proud to support their efforts to help end the cycle of violence.”

“We are extremely proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission to help domestic violence survivors and their families in Santa Clara County. With these funds we will be able to continue on our mission of ending domestic in the moment and for all time,” says Kathleen Krenek, Executive Director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence.

About Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence:

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence http://www.nextdoor.org established the first bilingual English-Spanish domestic violence shelter in the nation toward its mission to end domestic violence in the moment and for all time. Since 1971, Next Door has promoted safe and healthy options for culturally and linguistically diverse, very low to low income victims and their children in Santa Clara County through emergency shelter and transitional housing; multiple points of entry for victims; individuals, system and institutional advocacy; crisis intervention and peer counseling; education for victims and the community; and community norms change through prevention activities. Collectively, its programs reach between 7,500 and 9,000 clients annually.

About The Avon Foundation for Women and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence:

The Avon Foundation for Women <http://www.avonfoundation.org>, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women, and brings this mission to life through focus on domestic violence. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. The Avon Foundation’s flagship programs include the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, which supports domestic violence awareness, education, direct services and prevention initiatives. Through the end of 2010, in the U.S. alone, the Avon Foundation for Women has provided more than $23 million for the domestic violence and gender violence cause, including support for awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs.

For more information:
To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program, visit <www.avonfoundation.org>, where you can also access a free printable Domestic Violence and Dating Abuse Resource Guide in English <http://www.avonfoundation.org/assets/dv-resource-guide-2010-final.pdf> and Spanish <http://www.avonfoundation.org/assets/dvbookspanish.pdf>.

For more information on Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, please call Jono Marcus at (408) 504-7744. For more information about Next Door’s domestic violence services, please call Next Door’s Community Office at (408) 501-7540.

Have a Meal & Help a Victim of Domestic Violence!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Next Door Solutions has partnered with several local restaurants to offer you a chance to contribute to solving this widespread problem. During the month of October, when you eat at one of the participating restaurants, they will contribute a percentage of your tab to Next Door. Spread the word, invite all of your friends, enjoy a meal and do your part to help others. Try one, or try them all!

All you have to do is click on the link below, print the flyer and turn it in with your bill… It’s really that easy!

We hope to see you at one of the following events:

Wednesday, October 6- Sweet Tomatoes on Coleman Ave.

Wednesday, October 13- Chevy’s on Winchester Ave.

Tuesday, October 19- Giorgio’s on Foxworthy Ave.

Tuesday, October 26- California Pizza Kitchen in Valley Fair Mall

Thursday, October 28- Chili’s on Coleman Ave

Youth Awareness Through Theatre & Discussion

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As many of you know, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What many of you probably didn’t know, however, is that October is also Adopt a Shelter Pet Month!! October was sure a busy month, don’t you think? While all important causes, I hope the true message wasn’t lost somewhere behind all the commotion and hype. Ending domestic violence isn’t going to happen in a month, or even a year. It is an uphill battle, but it is one that we can win if we work together.

Ending domestic violence requires a collaborative effort involving every part of our community. Each of us has a vital role to play; no longer is domestic violence someone else’s problem. Our law enforcement and justice systems need to ensure that our victims are protected and their batterers held accountable. Business leaders can help by not punishing victims for missing work and recognize that for many victims, the workplace is the one place they can go to escape abuse. Health care providers should be educated on the signs of abuse and know the proper steps to take if a patient is a domestic violence victim. As a country, it is possible to work together to protect survivors, bring offenders to justice, and change the very attitudes that allow such violence.

Now that October is over, let’s continue to commemorate those we have lost to this epidemic. Let’s keep in our minds the victims of abuse, as well as their children, and be open and willing to help in any way possible. This month, and throughout the rest of the year, let us all be vigilant in recognizing and fighting domestic violence in our communities and let’s work together to create an environment of safety and support for all those affected.

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