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DVCC’s Teen Peaceworks Program Named As “Trailblazer” By National Organization

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February 26, 2014

The leading national organization working to end teen dating violence has named DVCC’s Teen PeaceWorks project as one of its “Trailblazer” programs to be featured on its Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month website during February.

A Youth Advisory Board for the organization, Break the Cycle, chose Teen PeaceWorks, along with nine other projects nationwide, to highlight ways in which programs across the country are finding creative means to provide information and raise awareness about dating violence and abuse.  According to Erin Clark, Program Specialist for Break the Cycle, Teen PeaceWorks was “one of the most innovative and youth-responsive teen dating violence programs” amongst the many submissions they received and was chosen for “creatively encouraging youth activism and involvement”.

Launched in 2007 as an offshoot of DVCC’s PeaceWorks project, Teen PeaceWorks is a network of local high school groups that focus on creating social change around domestic abuse and teen dating violence. Members become violence prevention educators and ambassadors who provide information and awareness in their schools and communities about the importance of healthy and safe relationships.

Teen PeaceWorkers attend interactive training sessions facilitated by PeaceWorks staff, where they delve into the issue of intimate partner violence as it relates to teenagers, including its effect on teens and their families, potential warning signs, safety planning, resources in the community and how to go about forming and maintaining healthy relationships. Once armed with that knowledge and information, they are ready to plan events and initiatives around the prevention of teen dating violence in their schools.

“To have our Teen PeaceWorks project recognized by this highly respected national organization is an incredible honor,” said Emily Leventhal, the PeaceWorks educator who coordinates Teen PeaceWorks. “Sharing ideas and information is vital within our own network of PeaceWorks clubs, and to be able to further share ideas and information with organizations around the country is truly exciting. We all have the same goals, so it’s wonderful that Break the Cycle gives us a format to study the many creative ways people are striving to reach those goals!”

Teen PeaceWorks will be featured on Break the Cycle’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month website starting February 27 under the category “Youth Activism and Engagement: Tips for Reaching Youth”. The link for the selected programs on the site is http://www.teendvmonth.org/featured-programs. Break the Cycle also plans to feature all the Trailblazer programs more permanently on its new website, which is expected to be up and running in a few months.

PeaceWorks, DVCC’s violence-prevention education project, provides pre-K to 12th grade youth with in-school and afterschool programs that focus on peaceful conflict resolution, social responsibility and healthy relationships, as well as respond to the growing problems of cyber bullying and violence in dating relationships. Teen PeaceWorks recognizes the importance of youth leadership and advocacy and gives teenagers the opportunity to stand up against dating violence.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center is committed to promoting the fundamental right of all individuals to be safe in their personal relationships. With a professional staff of 45 people who have years of experience and advocacy in the field of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, the agency offers confidential services at no charge, including court and legal services, group and individual counseling, SafeHouses and housing services, children’s services, medical advocacy, professional adult trainings, multilingual services, PeaceWorks prevention education, a 24-hour hotline (1-888-774-2900) and EsperanzaCT, a Spanish language website and 24-hour phone service line. DVCC is the only domestic violence agency serving the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston. For more information please call 203-588-9100 or visit www.dvccct.org.


Domestic Violence Crisis Center                                                 Contact:   Kathy Lake

777 Summer Street                                                                      Media Relations Advocate

Stamford, CT 06901                                                                    Phone: (203) 588-9100

(203) 588-9100                                                                            Email: klake@dvccct.org

www.dvccct.org, www.esperanzact.org