News and Updates
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM), a national effort to raise awareness and protect teens from violence. How can you make a difference? By encouraging your school, community-based organizations, tribal leaders, parents, and teens to join together to prevent teen dating violence– both at home and in our communities. Those of us in Native communities often hear jokes about “Indian lovin” as waking up with a hickey and a black eye—that’s not love, it’s dating violence. As a way to support our efforts, Verizon has partnered with NIWRC to address teen dating violence among Native youth. The NativeLove project provides opportunities for our young people to discuss teen dating violence and related issues to reframe what Native Love is… including ways to transform our thoughts and actions to restore how we love, honor, and treat one another. Our goal is to inspire, empower, and mobilize tribal youth to amplify their voices to advocate against violence against Native women, youth, and children with the aim of creating positive social change in our communities.
The History of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
In 2005, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act highlighted teenage dating violence and abuse. Congress declared the first week in February as “National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Week,” after national efforts called for the end of dating abuse. In 2010, Congress dedicated the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.
What is Teen Dating Violence?
Dating/ Relationship Violence occurs when one intimate or romantic partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through words and actions that are physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially abusive.
- Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
- More than 40% of Native children experience two or more acts of violence by the age of 18.
- 25% of Native children that are exposed to violence have PTSD at a higher rate than that found in US soldiers returning home from Afghanistan.
- One in five tweens knows a victim of dating violence.*
* For more information or statistics, please go to: http://nativelove.niwrc.org/statistics/
Because youth form the heart of our cultural survival as Native peoples, we at NativeLove believe that our youth have the power and energy to help create positive change in their communities.
To highlight Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) this February, NativeLove collaborated with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) on an TDVAM Interview with Tanae LeClaire (2017 NativeLove Challenge Winner): “How can we create meaningful connections with youth leaders seeking opportunities to become vocal advocates for themselves and their communities?” Also, NativeLove, in collaboration with the StrongHearts Native Helpline and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women are co-hosting the #HealthyNativeLoveIs Photo Contest on Instagram with 3 top prizes! Visit here for rules and more information: http://nativelove.niwrc.org/healthynativeloveis-photo-contest/
- PRINT: 2019 Women Are Sacred Calendar (http://www.niwrc.org/resources/women-are-sacred-2019-monthly-calendar-awareness-months-days), download from NIWRC’ Resource Library. Includes February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
- SHARE: TDVAM digital cards on social media. NativeLove will be posting an information fact or statistic addressing teen dating violence each week of February. Native youth form the heart of our cultural survival as Native peoples, you have the power to create positive change in your community to end this epidemic. Join the conversation with #HealthyNativeLoveIs and #TDVAM.
- WATCH: NativeLoveIs videos (http://nativelove.niwrc.org/multimedia/). In a joint project of the Indian Law Resource Center (Indianlaw.org), the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (niwrc.org) and Buffalo Nickel Creative (buffalonickelcreative.com) produced videos to define Native love. The project focuses on raising awareness about violence against Native women and empowering Native people to speak out about traditional cultural values that honor and respect Native women.
- CALL: If you or someone you know if experiencing dating violence, please call the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1–844–7NATIVE, or 1–844–762‑8483) to get help and referrals to local resources. The call is free and confidential. Advocates are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST. After hours callers have the option to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Visit StrongHearts online to learn more about domestic violence and dating violence, red flags and resources at www.strongheartshelpline.org.
- ORGANIZE A SCHOOL/COMMUNITY ACTIVITY: Want to celebrate Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) this February? Take Action! Here are some ideas for you to consider in helping raise awareness about teen dating violence in your school or community (See attached document).
- EXPLORE: NativeLove Online Toolkit for Youth. To offer support to youth, NIWRC will showcase various toolkits and resources on a broad spectrum of wellness with NativeLove Resources and Tools.
- EXPLORE: NativeLove Online Toolkit for Educators, Coaches, and Mentors. Our NativeLove project encourages youth to rethink what Native Love means to them, and empower them to define healthy relationships for themselves. This is with the aim of promoting non-violent, respectful, safe relationships among Native youth, their families, communities, cultures, & Nations.
- EXPLORE: NIWRC’S Online special collections for teens. This Special Collection is developed to highlight the issues, resources and other suggestions for engaging Native youth in our communities about healthy relationships and related tools. The Special Collection organizes information, resources, tips and curricula drawn from the wealth of information gathered from partner organizations, experts from the field, and other allies. Specifically, in this Collection, are resources on cultural issues, national sources, statistics, topical issues and approaches, existing programs, available material and resources to create awareness and promote important discussions about teen dating violence within our Native communities.
- DOWNLOAD: “2017 State of Native Youth Report: Our Identities as Civic Power.” By The Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute.
- DOWNLOAD: “Combating Trafficking: Native Youth Toolkit on Human Trafficking.” By Administration for Native Americans, Administration for Children & Families Office of Trafficking in Persons and Department of Health and Human Services.
- org’s “Signs of Teen Dating Violence”
- NRCDV’s list of TDVAM resource
About The NativeLove Project
Verizon has partnered with National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) to raise awareness and help end violence against Native youth by empowering them to redefine Native love. Our NativeLove project includes a youth video/photo challenge, posters, social media campaigns, FAQs, and teen resources and toolkits. These are offered to support and inform youth and educators about healthy relationship and to encourage dialogue in Native communities. http://nativelove.niwrc.org
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness and protect teens from violence. Why is it important to raise awareness about teen dating violence? Let’s look at the statistics:
- Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
- One in five tweens knows a victim of dating violence. (For more information, please go to http://nativelove.niwrc.org/nativelove-youth/).
To raise awareness about the increasing numbers of young adults experiencing dating violence, we hope you will join the #HealthyNativeLoveIs campaign! This campaign encourages young people to share imagery/photos of what NativeLove means to them.
What is NativeLove?
Native Love is defined by our traditional ways of caring for each other. NativeLove, the youth program under the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, encourages youth to rethink what Native Love means to them and empower them to define healthy relationships for themselves with the aim of promoting non-violent, respectful, safe relationships among Native youth, their families, and communities.
The Photo Contest:
What does healthy NativeLove mean to you? Is it holding the door open for your partner, holding hands, or making heart-shaped frybread on Valentine’s Day together? Take a photo of what Healthy NativeLove looks like to you and post to your Instagram account using #HealthyNativeLoveIs throughout the month of February! Follow NativeLove (@nativeloveis), StrongHearts (@strongheartsdv) and CSVANW (@csvanw) for more information and reposts of your photos on Instagram!
- 1st prize $100 Gift card an online Native-owned business (for example: NTVS, B.Yellowtail, Indigenous Goddess Gang, Beyond Buckskin, etc.) + NativeLove sticker + StrongHearts pen+ CSVANW Swag Bundle
- 2nd prize $50 Gift card to Overstock.com + NativeLove sticker + StrongHearts pen + CSVANW Swag Bundle
- 3rd prize is two (2) NativeLove T‑shirts + NativeLove sticker + Stronghearts pen + CSVANW Swag Bundle
Photo Contest Submission Guidelines:
- Youth must take photo AND use the #HealthyNativeLoveIs hashtag during the month of February 2019. (Images can be anything that youth feel shows what Healthy NativeLove means to them).
- Open to Native youth between 12–24 years old.
- Youth participants can submit multiple entries.
- All entries must be received by Thursday, February 28th, 2019.
- NOTE: Please do not submit inappropriate or graphic images. These images will be immediately disqualified.
- Judging by members of the Native Love, StrongHearts & CSVANW teams will take place the week of March 4, 2019.
- The winners will be announced Friday, March 8th at 12 p.m. CST by the NativeLove, StrongHearts & CSVANW on Instagram.
We look forward to seeing your pictures and having you join us in spreading awareness about teen dating violence throughout the month of February!
*If you or someone you know if experiencing dating violence, please call the StrongHearts Native Helpline (1–844–7NATIVE, or 1–844–762‑8483) to get help and referrals to local resources. The call is free and confidential. Advocates are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST. After hours callers have the option to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Visit StrongHearts online to learn more about domestic violence and dating violence, red flags and resources at www.strongheartshelpline.org.
**Want to host a youth event at your school during TDVAM? Visit NativeLove (http://nativelove.niwrc.org/statistics/) for youth statistics, videos, and resources to help with planning!
***TDVAM Livestream talk on Instagram with @CSVANW Staff:
- February 14, 2019: Consent with Alegra Roybal, CSVANW Sexual Violence Project Coordinator
- February 26, 2019: Power & Control with Cecelia Westman, CSVANW Advocate Coordinator
- “Logically – Love Shouldn’t Hurt” by Taejonon Denetclaw — https://www.csvanw.org/
- Social Media & Teen Dating Violence by Alerga Roybal, CSVANW Sexual Violence Project Coordinator — https://www.csvanw.org/social-
Tanae Le Claire, Yankton Sioux
The 2017 NativeLove Youth Challenge Project received many diverse entries from tribes and tribal communities across the lower 48 and villages in Alaska. The NativeLove Challenge is both a digital media campaign and an art therapy–based activity offered during our trainings, workshops, assemblies, on-sites, and awareness events. This year, youth participated from remote villages in Alaska, in metropolitan cities, from tribal schools, at information and activity booths during both traditional and contest powwows, at community walks, and at awareness events and included entries from students as young as preschool up to college-age. We were given useful and important feedback from youth regarding bullying and the pacts of this intersection of bullying and dating relationships. We heard about youth centered-barriers of perceptions of consent, and disclosures about lookism, faith, and cultural abuse as a vehicle to perpetuate domestic violence. This year, we heard NativeLove means things like #NativeLoveIs: “Family,” “Culture, “Respect,” “Traditions,” “Elders,” “Being proud to be indigenous,” and “NativeLove is an action word.”
NativeLove, a project by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, intends to develop tools and resources and use these important youth voices to inform how we can improve youth-centered advocacy and support adults in faith leadership, schools, and sports to prepare youth for a healthy future. Youth are the future, they are generation makers, and we have a lot to learn from them. The philosophy of NativeLove is to speak WITH youth, not AT youth. We change the concept of who is the “teacher” and who is the “student.” Also, one of the most important approaches is leading by example by promoting collaboration instead of doing anti-violence work in silos.
This year, our gifted theme from youth has been “Together” or “Unity.”
We are so excited for our 2017 NativeLove Challenge Winner Tanae Le Claire, daughter of Candace Le Claire. Tanae is a senior at Haskell University, this year’s Haskell Homecoming Queen, and represents the Gamma Delta Pi sorority. To her, NativeLove means “Unity” and we couldn’t agree more. When we treat each other with respect and value each other, we have the beginnings of ending violence in our communities and promoting unity is how we can accomplish those goals. Tanae has thought a lot about her future plans. She wants to work for Native people. She believes,
… by continuing my education and achieving a master’s degree in social work, I know I can focus on my passion to help indigenous people in urban areas. My goal is to professionally, and with my experience and passion, help those who need support adjusting and transitioning from reservation life to urban areas …
Candace Le Claire says of her daughter, “Tanae is very deserving of this trip for the NativeLove Challenge prize. She is a beautiful, young woman who respects her culture and heritage. Although Tanae has faced adversity throughout her life, she has overcome it to become a college graduate and is striving towards even bigger and better things. I know that one day she will be able to apply all that she has achieved to help our people.
Pilamaya (Thank you) Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related)
We are so excited to introduce Tanae and have amazing things in early planning for her upcoming year cultivating NativeLove at Haskell University. She is beginning to plan her prize, a paid trip for two to a Native event of her choosing this year. After all, #NativeLove is lifting and celebrating our youth; they will change the world.