By Allison Crowe, See the Triumph Co-Founder
As we bring in the New Year, Christine and I wanted to focus on transformative ideas, approaches, and projects related to abuse and intimate partner violence as a way to highlight innovation, energy, and creativity as we think about continuing to challenge IPV in 2015. We are both firm believers that it takes all of these elements (and much more!) to combat the stigma that still surrounds IPV, and provide survivors with the resources they need to overcome abuse.
One of the main ways that we at See the Triumph have worked to assist survivors is by using social media as a tool. Typically, as professors, we are encouraged to share our work in more scholarly and traditional sources such as books, articles, and book chapters for other academics. While we believe this is important, we also care very deeply about reaching a wider audience, especially survivors out there who might not have access to academic sources. As we enter into Year 3 of the See the Triumph project, I feel very fortunate to have learned so much about the powerful ways that social media can reach others. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to have our voices heard.
As I thought about what sort of transformative project to highlight for this month’s series, I stumbled across an award-winning project called be smart. be well. Life stories, education, and ideas are offered about a variety of health topics that are related to staying healthy and well – things like bullying, addiction, STDs, and pregnancy to name a few. Many of the videos highlight teens sharing messages and information, which I think is an incredible way to increase the chances that today’s young people are hearing these messages in a way that perhaps is easier to receive -- from each other. One of the topics the project covers is abuse and teen dating violence. Their short video on dating violence is an excellent example of innovation – middle, high school, and college students give personal stories, education, and advice to other teens out there. And the best part - all of it happens inside a photo booth! The video can be found here http://besmartbewell.com/domestic-violence/is-it-love.htm and I encourage everyone to take a look.
Messages can be delivered in many ways. As we think about transformation and innovation as ways to continue our fight against IPV, I think we can all challenge ourselves to think outside of the box, bring in new voices, deliver a message in a different way, take risks, or collaborate. The be smart. be well project is just one example of some folks who are doing this. As we continue this month, I urge all of you in our StT community to share ideas, examples, or initiatives with us so that we can see more innovation and transformation as it relates to IPV. Just imagine what you could do with a photo booth!