Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Time to Talk

You’re a well-informed parent, committed to raising a healthy family. You read food labels, give your kids vitamins. You enforce bedtime, check homework. You’ve had—or are planning to have—conversations with your kids about the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use.

But are you planning to talk to your kids about dating abuse?

A recent study by Liz Claiborne Inc. showed that parents are seriously out of touch with the realities of dating violence. The majority of parents surveyed couldn’t identify the warning signs of teen dating abuse. The majority of teens surveyed don’t confide in their parents about their abusive relationships. Sometimes teens themselves don’t know that they’re what they’re experiencing is wrong or where to get help.

Isn’t it time to start talking?

Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Moms and Dads for Education (MADE) to Stop Teen Dating Abuse is a coalition of parents, teachers and concerned citizens advocating that every high school in the country teach a curriculum on preventing dating relationship violence and abuse. MADE highlights: the power of education, the importance of reaching kids as they are beginning to engage in relationships and the potential for parental involvement to effect prevention.

On Thursday, December 3rd, Liz Claiborne Inc. will host their 6th annual “It’s Time To Talk Day” at their New York City headquarters in partnership with Talk Radio News Service. Celebrities including Mariska Hargitay; Tim Gunn; Malaak Compton-Rock; Ann Shoket, Editor in Chief of Seventeen, and Stacy Morrison, Editor in Chief of Redbook; authors; corporate and government leaders will join with advocates, relationship and adolescent development experts, parents of victims, and teen survivors from across the country to get the conversation started. Leading local and national talk radio hosts will conduct interviews with these participants who are willing to speak-up about domestic violence and teen dating abuse. I'll be at the event as well--interviewing, blogging, tweeting--doing my part to keep the conversation flowing.

“It’s Time To Talk Day” is also an opportunity for all Mom Bloggers to help spark a national conversation about the importance of parents taking action and talking to their children about healthy relationships. You don't have to be at the event to be a part of it; by joining MADE, by talking about these issues, by educating yourself, your family and your community, you're effecting the change we all wish to see in the world. (The MADE website has some great ideas on how to get the conversation started.)

As a parent, your support is invaluable in raising awareness on this issue. All of our children benefit from your involvement. By actively and vocally promoting healthy relationships, we can effect change.

By starting the conversation, we can help stop the violence.

For more information or resources on these issues, please visit:
Love Is Respect (National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline)