Eyes Wide Open
The Education Connection:
There is no doubt that the future success of our children and our society starts with a solid base of education. Our community understands the need for safety and character education within our schools. The problem comes when budgets get cut and our teachers and parents are trying to do so much more in the same amount of time. This is where the education connection comes into play.
Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in cooperation with other agencies, has developed a menu of educational curriculum that promotes safety for our families and builds character in our schools. Some of these programs have already been delivered in the past but due to funding reductions, many were not able to return to the educational institution.
The Concept is Simple:
The educator or community decides what piece of the menu fits best with issues at the moment. Facilitators would then bring this education to the organization or classroom.
Why would we do this?
Part of our mission is to advocate for change that will break the cycle of violence in our society. Our agency, along with the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force, feel that this can not happen without the proper education given to our community. We have made a commitment to assist our educators in giving the children in our community an opportunity to be educated not only in general studies, but in relationship skills. These are skills that are utilized throughout their whole lives whether in school, at home, in jobs or in the creation of social change that will increase pride in our community.
Primary prevention is defined as stopping violence before the first time occurrence by engaging in strategic, long-term, comprehensive initiatives that address the risk and protective factors related to perpetration, victimization, and bystander behaviors.
To do this, the Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence tries to infiltrate the community in many different ways to not only educate about domestic violence and sexual assault, but to let people know that these things are happening here in our community!
We do go out in the community and present and do classes, but we try to find unique ways to bring this awareness to the community. Whether that is bringing in keynote speakers or having events like our annual Open House to give the community a better understanding of our services.
Another way to promote awareness is something that we started in 2011 with the first Walk-A-Mile In Her Shoes event. This event asked men to walk a mile in her shoes (literally) to raise money for the Shelterhouse and the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
This attempted to show that domestic violence is not just a women’s issue but a family issue. All of our events are so people can be sure of what we were trying to accomplish as a community.