My 10-year-old daughter loves Rihanna’s music. She also happens to love Chris Brown’s music. And she has begun to ask me questions like, “Why did Chris Brown hurt Rihanna?” I answered it as best I could, and then proceeded to conduct a slew of research about the topic, thinking that this could be a teachable moment not only for my children, but for my Girl Scout Troop as well.
On my journey, I found a bevy of national, charitable domestic violence prevention organizations that are weighing in on the Rihanna/Chris Brown tragedy. I wanted to share my findings with you. Not only did I find many charitable organizations that are doing good work and could use your charitable dollars, but I found some opportunities for charitable organizations to earn grants on the topic as well.
One of the most vocal organizations on the Rihanna/Chris Brown issue is The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which issued a statement of unwavering support for Rihanna amidst recent rumblings that the young singer may actually have deserved the abuse. I can’t even fathom that attitude, and neither can Rita Smith, Executive Director of National Coalition, who said in a statement, “The idea that someone ‘deserves’ to be beaten is intolerable and appalling. Choosing to use violence in response to conflict – and we emphasize that violence is a choice – is the sole responsibility of the abuser.” This organization, like all charitable organizations, needs your financial support to continue providing violence prevention education, advocacy, and protection.
At The Family Violence Prevention Fund, President Esta Soler weighed in on the issue involving Chris Brown’s childhood. “Chris Brown has talked in the past about the trauma he experienced growing up in a home in which there was domestic violence,” Soler said. “Kids in that situation need help, and may not have gotten it. Certainly, that does not excuse any crime he may have committed, but it is a reminder that we can and must do much more to help kids who witness abuse.” The organization, which also relies on charitable donations, provides an incredible amount of facts and resources on its website. In their fact sheet entitled, “The Facts on Children and Domestic Violence,” they say that 15.5 million children in America live in a home in which partner violence occurred at least once.
To help children cope with these tragedies, and to help prevent the cycle of abuse, the Avon Foundation is offering grants to organizations that work with children who have been exposed to or are victims of abuse. The grants range from $50,000 to $100,000. The Avon Foundation also offers a free downloaded booklet, the “Domestic Violence Resource Guide,” that offers information about the warning signs of domestic abuse, how to protect children, dating abuse among teens, and how parents can teach their children about abuse. In my quest to answer my daughter’s original question, I found these tips in the Avon booklet:
• Teach your children self-respect, and that no one has the right to hit or control anyone. Emphasize respect.
• Listen to your children’s stories about conflicts among friends and boyfriends/girlfriends. Don’t criticize. Be sure your children know they can also come to you.
• Talk about the issue of abuse and violence whenever you have the opportunity, like right now as the Rihanna/Chris Brown issue continues to unfold. Talk about warning signs and prevention.
Finally, in looking for lesson plans and educational materials for young children, like my Girl Scouts, I found the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund. This organization, started by the family of a young woman murdered by her abuser, offers training and education to middle and high school staff, and parents, how to teach their students and children about domestic violence prevention. They also act as a one-stop shop for curriculum materials and lesson plans that are offered by numerous organizations.
Now, I feel better prepared to talk to my daughter about the Rihanna/Chris Brown issue, thanks to the resources made available by these fantastic charitable organizations.
For more domestic violence resources, please check out the Domestic Violence Site here at BellaOnline.
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