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Love is Respect

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month which is a great time to reflect on what influences young people’s perceptions of healthy relationships. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year (loveisrespect.org). This high prevalence of unhealthy and abusive relationships tells us that many young people aren’t being taught what love really is. Family, friends and school all play into young people’s perspectives, but there is another overarching factor that is widely ignored, yet extremely important to examine. That is what popular culture is teaching about healthy relationships. Popular culture is digested through various forms of media and there is nothing wrong with enjoying it. However, it should be examined critically and not allowed to form our subconscious or the subconscious of our youth.

Popular songs such as “Blurred Lines”, “Animals”, and “Jealous” all frame being possessive, coercive, and exhibiting stalker like behavior as normal ways to pursue a relationship. In turn, these attitudes are looked at as desirable and “showing you care” rather than the warning signs of abuse. The romanticizing of abuse is common not only in songs, but in film. No better example of this is the “Fifty Shades of Gray” series, which released its second film the week before Valentine’s Day. This movie is marketed as a romance, but it tells the story of abuse.

All of these examples in popular culture of unhealthy relationships weave a narrative that abusive relationships are normal, even something to be aimed for. And no one is more impacted by this than young people. It is our responsibility to call out and challenge positive portrayals of unhealthy relationships in media in front of young people. Love is about respect, and this point needs to be made if we want to improve our society.

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EVENTS

Apr 24

2024

Denim Day

April 24, 2024 is Denim Day Order your Denim Day Outreach Kit! Denim Day is a day-long awareness campaign that allows us to honor survivors of sexual assault and start conversations about the dangers of victim-blaming. Why denim? In 1992 an 18-year-old Italian girl was sexually assaulted by her driving instructor. While he was initially […]

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Apr 25

2024

WCA Virtual Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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May 07

2024

WCA Virtual Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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May 12

2024

Closets for Cause & Mother’s Day Dinner with Chandlers

Visit Chandlers on Mother’s Day, May 12th, to support the WCA through their Closets For A Cause event! This clothing pop-up is open to all from noon to 4 p.m. and we know you will find something you love. Additionally, visit https://www.chandlersboise.com/ to reserve your spot for their Mother’s Day Prix Fixe dinner, with proceeds […]

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May 23

2024

WCA Virtual Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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Sep 03

2024

2024 Joyce Stein Award Celebration

HONORING THOSE WHO MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE GROWTH AND ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN The Joyce Stein Memorial Award is given in memory of Boisean Joyce Ann Stein, a long-time supporter of the WCA (YWCA). Each year an individual who has made a positive impact on the growth and advancement of women is honored. After […]

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