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#WHYPACT

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SCHOOL OFFICIAL TO TEEN ASSAULT VICTIM: WHY DIDN’T YOU BITE HIS PENIS?

16 YEAR OLD CHARGED AFTER SEXUAL ASSAULTS NEAR UOFL

JUDGE MAY LOSE JOB 2 YEARS AFTER ‘KEEP YOUR KNEES TOGETHER’ RAPE COMMENT

These are real article headings that have flooded the blogs of major news sites over the past several weeks. You would think that our country would be past certain unspeakable actions by now but we are seemingly just entering into the depths of intimate partner violence and rape culture; from judges telling a victim to “keep your knees together,” to athletes being accused over and over of sexual or domestic violence.

Intimate partner violence is abuse that is physical, emotional, financial, or sexual and more. These dangerous situations can take place in relationships between family members, acquaintances, or more commonly, intimate partners. The statistics are alarming in each category and have groups scrambling to find a solution. In some cases, solutions for dating violence have been created that place more emphasis or blame on the victim than the root of the issue. Violence prevention programs are reputed as being anti-violence in the sense of teaching prevention tactics that place the responsibility on those being abused. That is just not true. More and more organizations are realizing that to prevent violence, you do not speak to the potential victim in hopes of reducing their chances; you speak to society to change the perception and level of tolerance.

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PACT is one of the initiatives housed under the Center for Women and Families that puts an end to the notion that rape or dating violence is inevitable. PACT teaches teens of Park Hill, Algonquin, and California that dating violence is not the norm; then goes further to equip teens with the knowledge and skills to educate one another and surrounding communities in hopes of  reducing the rate of intimate partner violence.

PACT In Action has BIG GOALS and our wheels are constantly turning every second of every day. Families that come together and display healthy examples of love behind the walls of their homes, turns to adults and youth going out into their neighborhoods to form healthy relationships. Healthy relationships formed in a community turns to a feeling of safety and a sense of pride and their community as a whole becomes “home.” Everyone looks out for everyone and holds one another accountable for their actions. Everyone has a voice and everyone is able to express themselves in healthy ways.

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No, the world is not perfect and there is more to ending violence than workshops on bystander involvement or activities that teach positive dating habits. PACT covers everything from teaching our communities the knowledge they need to build healthy relationships, as well as, acts as an advocate for communities to receive the resources they need or the connection to resources they need to fulfill other areas in their lives. With our main office at the Bridges of Hope Neighborhood Place, we hope to bridge the gap between men and women, youth and adults, and those of all ethnicities to restore and revive our communities.

When I first signed on to become a member of PACT In Action, I was elated with the fact that I was going to get to help others at a non-profit organization. Now that I am in the beast of this movement, there is not a day that goes by that I do not wake up excited. It is clear to me that with the fire that roars in the pits of our youth’s bellies; something is coming. They are hungry to help others. They continue to care when it seems like outsiders have long since stopped.

We aim to cut dating violence by 10% in the 40210 area by the year 2020. If you knew what I know, you would be a fool to bet against us.

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