INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 10, 2019) – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Indiana ranks third highest in the nation for the percentage of high school students who reported sexual dating violence. Because of this staggering statistic, The Julian Center, in partnership with the Domestic Violence Network (DVN), today announced the launch of a dedicated, textable phone line and online referral form at www.ProjectAvery.net as additional resources to help teens and young adults (ages 13-24) experiencing dating violence, sexual violence and stalking.
Teens and young adult survivors can call or text 463-201-2792 (if in immediate danger, call 911) or visit www.projectavery.net to complete a referral form and receive confidential, one-on-one assistance from The Julian Center. Through the new texting and online referral options, a Julian Center advocate will provide dedicated support services for survivors between 13 and 24 years of age and work with local project partners to increase prevention, education and intervention efforts related to violence in schools and universities.
The Julian Center stressed that these efforts are also aimed at adults who have concerns about teens who may be experiencing any of these abuses.
”Teens and young adults face many types of dating abuse, including verbal, emotional, physical and even digital abuse,” explained Catherine O’Connor, President and CEO of The Julian Center. “While this initiative emphasizes education and intervention for youth and young adults, we also understand the important role parents, teachers, caregivers and other concerned adults play in helping us reach those who need help. We encourage everyone who works or lives with teens and young adults to share our text and web resources to make sure Indiana’s youth can feel safe and get help if needed.”
In addition to these resources, DVN has launched a new healthy relationships curriculum for Central Indiana middle and high school students titled, “THE CHANGE PROJECT” to change the culture that leads to violence within the community. This free program will include seven sessions that focus on kindness, shared values, the protective factors of healthy relationships, warning signs of unhealthy and abusive relationships, emotional intelligence, empathy, consent, inclusivity and empowerment. THE CHANGE PROJECT is available to Central Indiana schools beginning in the fall of 2019. Schools interested in scheduling the program can contact DVN at: 317-872-1086.
“We know the teen years are a critical point for social development and why programs focused on domestic violence prevention are so important,” said Kelly McBride, executive director at the Domestic Violence Network. “THE CHANGE PROJECT will engage young people and address dating violence and social issues while developing peer groups to impact the cultural understanding of domestic violence. This curriculum will also help eliminate harmful stigmas and change cultural norms.”
The resource line, referral form website and healthy relationships curriculum are part of Project Avery, a program funded in 2017 by a $741,662 grant awarded to The Julian Center from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, for prevention and intervention programs focused on youth and young adults. Project Avery brings together a variety of community partners, including: the Center for Victim and Human Rights; Domestic Violence Network (DVN); Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD); Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS); Indiana Youth Group (IYG), Jewish Community Center (JCC); Marion County Prosecutor’s Office; and The Julian Center, to change the culture around dating and sexual violence among young people in our community.
For more information about Project Avery, visit http://wwwprojectavery.net.