Promoting Wellness & Preventing Violence
We learn respect from many places and people in our lives, therefore it takes many people working together to model, teach, and create communities that promote respect in relationships. By building communities of respect together we can stop violence before it ever starts.
Juneau community members work together through Juneau’s Violence Prevention Coalition to promote wellness and prevent violence through our strategic community plan.
- Healthy Relationships
- Promoting Wellness
- Juneau’s Violence Prevention Coalition
- Juneau’s Pathways to Prevent Violence
- Resources for Youth–standupspeakupalaska.org
- Resources for Parents–talknowtalkoften.org
- Resources for Men–alaskamenchooserespect.org
Relationships surround us. We have relationships with our family, neighbors, teachers, relatives, boyfriends, girlfriends, employers, and friends. Developing relationships is the way we have forming connections with each other. The connection we develop with other people present us with an opportunity to give and receive love, find acceptance, and experience companionship in life.
MY RIGHTS in a relationship-remember, no one can take away your rights unless you allow it to happen:
- I have the right not to be abused-physically, emotionally or sexually
- I have the right to “fall out of love” with someone
- I have the right to my own opinions and be able to express them
- I have the right to change my mind
- I have the right to have my needs be as important as my partners
- I have the right NOT to accept responsibility for someone else’s behavior
- I have the right to have my own friends and my own space
- I have the right to be respected, loved and to live a peaceful life
MY RESPONSIBILITIES in a relationship:
- It is my responsibility not to inflict physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse
- It is my responsibility to communicate clearly and honestly
- I cannot blame anyone but myself if I am abusive to another person
- It is my responsibility to determine my own limits and stick to them
- I will recognize and accept my own needs and honor them
- I am responsible only for my own actions, not my partners
- It is my responsibility to understand my relationship with my partner is only one part of my total life
- I am entitled to set high goals for myself
- I am responsible for my own life
What do healthy relationships look like?
Relationships require commitment, care, respect, communication and everyday decision-making. Intimacy in a healthy relationship isn’t just about sex. Intimacy is also about sharing dreams with each other, talking together, caring about one another and laughing with each other. In a healthy relationship couples are close, but separate. They know who they are as individuals and what they like about each other. Partners will encourage each other, feel safe with each other and respect each other. They also have their own interests and things they enjoy separate from their partner.
Most dating relationships start out as exciting and fun. Both people are on their best behavior. What do you do if after a while you find yourself in a relationship where the person you care about is abusive (not all abuse is physical, it can also be mental, verbal, emotional, etc.) toward you? It can be really confusing. If you grew up in a violence family you might confuse jealousy as a sign of caring and/or violence as an act of love. REMEMBER…YOU DESERVE A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP! Partners who are abusive believe they have a right to control you. They may put you down, call you names or threaten you/your family. They may blame you for the abuse and you may think it’s your fault. IT’S NOT! Abusers are responsible for their own behavior.
If you believe you are in an abusive relationship, help is available. Please call us at AWARE at 907-586-1090 to speak with an advocate about your concerns. If you feel unsafe, call 911. And remember, abuse is not your fault. You have a right to be safe. No one deserves to be abused.
What can you do if a friend/family member is in need?
If you have a friend/family member who is the victim of abuse, you can help. Talk to them and tell them your concerns for their safety. Tell them they don’t deserve to be treated that way and that there are people who can help them be more safe.
- Educate yourself
- Do not blame
- Express your concerns
- Remain calm
- Tell them they do not deserve being abused
- Tell them the abuse is not their fault
- Tell them you are afraid for their safety
- If your friend is pregnant or a parent, tell them you are concerned for the safety of their child(ren)
- Do NOT mediate between your friend and their abusive partner
- Be aware that violence escalates in severity and frequency
- Recommend that they seek professional help, like by calling AWARE.
- Understand that leaving any relationship and getting away from abuse takes time, and don’t let your frustration stop you from supporting your friend/family member.
- Never put yourself in a dangerous situation with their partner.
Learn more about preventing violence through the social ecological model (see below) or the primary prevention principles.
What is the social ecological model? To effectively address prevention, we must address all levels of the social ecological model.
Because IPV is so pervasive in our culture, it is necessary to approach prevention in a multi-faceted manner. The social ecological model highlights multiple levels which are connected and which reinforce each other, while representing separate, but complementary avenues through which to address IPV. No single factor can explain why some people are at a high risk while others are not, or why risk is higher in some contexts than in others.
The individual level encompasses biological factors, beliefs and attitudes, and personal history factors that influence an individual’s likelihood of becoming a victim or perpetrator. The relationship levelreflects how an individual’s close social relationships influence the risk of violence.
Factors at the community level relate to the settings of social relationships, such as neighborhoods, workplaces and schools, and characteristics of those environments that contribute to or protect against violence.
Societal level factors refer to those underlying conditions of society that either encourage or inhibit violence, such as policies and social norms. The interaction of factors at various levels of the model must also be taken into account.*
The work of AWARE and the Juneau Violence Prevention Coalition focuses primarily at impacting the community and societal level.
Juneau’s Pathways to Prevent Violence
Juneau works to provide pathways to prevent intimate partner / sexual violence through a strategic primary prevention plan. Juneau Violence Prevention Coalition members plan for and work on prevention projects based on our communities needs. We work to provide meaningful programs for youth in our community and to create social change.
VISION: Community members of all ages are involved in healthy relationships, promoting protective factors and reducing the risk factors of Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault.
Pathway 1: Promote a community climate that consists of healthy masculinity and zero tolerance for violence against women and girls.
Pathway 2: Promote a climate of teen wellness at local high schools.
Pathway 3: Improve self-confidence, self-esteem, and increase healthy choices among elementary and middle school girls.
Pathway 4: Promote institutional practices that support the elimination of oppression and an organizational culture of empowerment among Juneau Violence Prevention Coalition (JVPC) partners
To learn more about Juneau’s Pathways to Prevent Violence, contact Ati Nasiah at AWARE 907-586-4902.