I never knew there was an entire month dedicated to Domestic Violence Awareness. What started as a “Day of Unity” in 1981 quickly evolved into an entire week of events, to what we now know as Domestic Violence Awareness month. I find it rather ironic that in school we all learn about the celebrations that education outlets think we must learn and celebrate. At 15, I became a victim of domestic violence, and at just a few months old, my own daughter was witnessing it firsthand. No one talked about domestic violence, and therefore I hid my embarrassment hindering me from the possibility of escaping the situation I had found myself in.
The National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF) has long shared the struggle that many face to define the depths of the challenges and the invisibility of marginalized girls and young women in the United States. This is crucial if we are to advance policies and programs that support the needs and potential of marginalized girls. TNCF believes that ACE brings the challenges they face to life through a simple ten-item survey and because everyone has an ACE score it enables us to relate to each other in that context.
The National Crittenton Foundation, in partnership with Education Northwest, hosted a series of events with Dr. Monique Morris on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 to talk about her book “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” and also discuss related issues affecting Portland’s diverse communities.
Sometimes I can’t believe this is life. I think it finally came together on a Saturday night when I was introducing BOLD to the folks at the 5th Annual National Crittenton Fundraiser in DC. It’s such a lovely event and being there put our last meetings in perspective:
America loves a scandal, but America hates a struggle. While our country rages over abortion rights and access to contraception, the Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina are quietly providing sanctuary and real-time assistance to the most vulnerable members of society — low-income single women and their children.
Today, October 23rd is Girls Justice Day and as it approached I kept thinking about the girls and young women who I have come to know over the last few years, who are or were involved with the Juvenile Justice system. Their stories are as diverse as they are, but one thing that remains constant is the way in which their early lives have been shaped for them by abuse, neglect, violence and the betrayal of their trust by the very people whose job it was to love and protect them. Their experiences are unthinkable to most of us and yet it is essential that we see them not as victims or “bad girls” but as courageous and resilient survivors that need support in order to heal.
The National Crittenton Foundation was honored to be invited to attend and kick off the second meeting of the National Advisory Committee (NAC). NAC members are appointed by the Attorney General Eric Holder to advise the Office on Violence Against Women on how to reduce and address the exposure of children and youth to violence. At the meeting held last week in Washington, DC, six young women from the Crittenton Family of agencies had the opportunity to open the meeting up by sharing their personal stories of exposure to violence to the NAC members and advocates who filled the ballroom at the Fairfax Embassy Row Hotel.
We have a long history as advocates for young women and girls
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