You’re doing sex ed wrong: How teaching kids about sex is like teaching toddlers to walk

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Cover detail of “For Goodness Sex” (Credit: HarperCollins)

Originally posted here

At a time when anything beyond abstinence-only education feels like a hard-won progressive victory, it’s remarkable to come across a teacher going far beyond just talk of birth control and STDs. Philadelphia high school teacher Al Vernacchio covers the basics of anatomy and safe sex, but he also teaches students about pleasure. As in orgasms. As in, masturbation. As in, sex offers more than just the specter of a giant cauliflower growth on your genitals! Oh, and by the way, the sex ed staple of those terrifying images of genital warts in their most extreme manifestations? He doesn’t show those. That’s because Vernacchio spurns what he calls the “disaster model.” He calls his brand of teaching “sex positive education.”

Maybe you’re already familiar with Vernacchio. Nearly three years ago, he gained national notoriety in a New York Times Magazine cover story about his unusual approach to this subject. The response to the coverage was not what you might expect for such contentious territory. “In fact, I did not get one email or phone call that was critical,” he tells me. “Quite the contrary. The week after the article ran I got a delivery of flowers from parents at my school.” They weren’t even from parents with children in his classes; they just wanted to thank him for being part of their community. The Times piece led to a TED Talk, which now has over a million views. That led to his new book, “For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health,” which comes out tomorrow.

I spoke to Vernacchio by phone about conservative parents, fears about teen sex, and why he thinks the U.S. is slowly moving beyond abstinence-only education.

How are we getting sex education wrong in this country?

The major way we get sex education wrong is we start from a place of sex as a problem. I call it the disaster model. We start by saying, “Here are all the terrible things that can happen if you have sex. Now go have a healthy relationship.” We just can’t do it that way. So I start from the premise that sexuality is a force for good in the universe and that we can use it all kinds of ways to create close connection and equity and even justice in the world. If that was the way we started sex ed, I think we’d be much more successful.

How can we convince parents who are coming from a place of fear about their kids and sex that your approach is appropriate?

What I try to do when I speak to parents is to ask them to envision what they would most hope for their kids in terms of a relationship. When I do that, most parents imagine their kids in a successful, fond, loving, healthy, sexy relationship. Then I simply ask them, starting from where your kid is today, how do you get there? It’s pretty clear that you don’t get there by scare tactics. That the only way you develop a healthy relationship is you give people accurate information and you teach them skills that help them achieve that. I think for parents you have to actually start from the end — where do you want to get to?

What about parents who feel that sex before marriage is morally wrong?

First of all, I really believe that my job is not to change people’s fundamental values. So if someone believes that sex before marriage is morally wrong, one of the things I want to engage that parent about is, OK, how do we help this young person develop the skills so that, if that is a value that they also share, that they actually can achieve that. How do we teach them negotiation skills? How do we teach them how to have conversations about sex and sexuality with partners. Also, what is an appropriate form of connection, pleasure, closeness that they can engage in? For every no we give a kid, we have to give them a yes. I’m not going to say to a parent: That approach is completely unrealistic and wrong. I don’t think that’s respectful, but if that’s really the goal, same thing, how are you going to get there? You’re not going to get there by just telling them to say no.

The way that we actually approach sex education in this country seems so far from what you’re saying is ideal. So how do we change that?

One of the things that I think would really help is if we actually had people who were trained in sexuality education teaching sex ed.

What a thought!

Yeah. So often the people who are teaching sex ed are very well-meaning and very good in their chosen field, but that field is often health and phys ed. I think one of the reasons I can do the work I do is I actually have a degree in human sexuality education. I wish more schools would be interested enough in sex ed to say, “Let’s get an expert.” We want the most qualified people to teach our kids, and yet for this most important subject we say, “Well, yes, this person can do it.” That’s one of the really big steps we need to think about.

Have we made progress or are we still mired in debates over abstinence-only education?

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Tuesday Sep 16 1pm  

 
 

FYI: You Think You Know What Domestic Violence Is, But You Probably Don’t

By now, you all know. You’ve heard it, you’ve read about it, you’ve watched it a million times on t.v. The Ray and Janay Rice situation. If you haven’t, here’s it in short: Ray Rice being suspended for two games in the NFL after the initial video of him dragging his then-fiancee Janay unconscious out of an elevator. Everyone freaking out about the tiny suspension. Her apologizing for her part in the altercation. Marrying him.

Then Monday, TMZ releasing the video of him punching her unconscious before dragging her out of the elevator. The NFL firing him. Her apologizing again for her part and telling everyone that they will keep showing what real love means.

People are appalled at seeing the video. People are appalled at her apologizing for getting knocked out by her then-fiancee. People screaming, “Why hasn’t he been banned for life from the NFL?!?!?!” People screaming, “Why hasn’t she left him?!! She needs help!” People screaming, “If she stays, that’s on her! What an idiot!!!”

What you may not know so well is that the public’s responses are COMPLETELY missing the point. Yes, it’s horrifying to watch someone getting punched out, particularly a couple perpetrating violence against each other (yes, she hit him too, but not with the same consequences). Yes, it’s shocking to think that even after something this horrible is brought to light, she’s still willing to stay by his side and risk further abuse. Yes, the NFL really fucked up with a 2 game suspension in the first place.

But the answers to these questions aren’t getting to any solution. The problems aren’t really that the NFL is stupid or that she’s stupid for staying with an abuser. THE PROBLEM IS THE CYCLE OF DOMESTIC ABUSE. THE PROBLEM IS HOW WE DEFINE MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY. THE PROBLEM IS HOW WE CREATE A CULTURE OF SILENCE AND SHAME. THE PROBLEM IS HOW WE RE-VICTIMIZE PEOPLE AND DON’T EVEN KNOW WE’RE DOING IT.

If you didn’t ask yourselves about any of those problems, you are probably one of those people screaming your head off for all the misguided reasons above.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Forget all those Lifetime movies we’ve seen, the Law and Order: SVU episodes we’ve marathoned through. Watching these shows has made people think that they’re experts on crime and violence. YOU’RE NOT. 

These shows are based on reality, yes, but they stray from the realities of life in major ways. It’s so easy to see a show wrap itself up after 30 min or an hour, and boom, the police and lawyers have completely figured out the issue and figured out what’s wrong. But in real life, we deal with far more than just someone did something illegal, they will be prosecuted, and the victim will be safe.

  • Have you ever had a partner yell at you for going out without them?
  • Have they ever stolen your phone to look at text messages or pictures without your consent and become angry or jealous?
  • Have you ever had someone show up where you are and make you feel threatened?
  • Have you ever had someone repeatedly ask you out, even though you’ve said no each time?
  • Have you ever had someone grab your ass or body parts in public and you couldn’t figure out who did it?
  • Has a partner decided what you wear or eat?
  • Has a partner called, and called, and called, and messaged, and filled up your voicemail box?
  • Have a partner freak out on you after drinking or doing drugs?
  • Have you ever had someone tell you you’re ugly, that no one is your friend, that no one will ever get you the way they get you?
  • Have you ever had someone repeatedly question where you were, who you were with, and then accuse you of lying?
  • Have you ever had someone make up a fake profile online to stalk you or bully you?
  • Has someone ever hit you, pushed you, cornered you, or made you feel like you were in danger?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, just ONE, you were a victim of relationship or dating violence and/or sexual assault, EVEN IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE A VICTIM.

Violence within the context of a relationship has nothing to do with sex or lust. It is a crime of power and control. It stems from the insecurities of an abusive partner trying to assert power and control over the other person because by doing so, the abuser finally feels a sense of power and control in life. 

How they assert that control can come in different forms: emotional, physical, mental, sexual, etc. It’s not how they show it on t.v.; it’s usually covert, hidden, and for the victim, deeply shaming. The victim usually does whatever she (it’s usually a she, although men can be victims too) can to hide it from others.

The hiding and denying is a part of the cycle of domestic and relationship violence. It’s not that she’s an idiot, or that she has no will power, or that she’s acting like a victim. She is being controlled and is being victimized by her partner. There is a difference, however blurry it may seem. 

The abuser typically starts out with massive amounts of charm and romantic efforts. The victim becomes connected to this person in an intimate and emotional way. Then the abuse begins to manifest itself, slowly, and perhaps in tiny ways that go unnoticed or explained away. “They had a tough day” “They are stressed out” “It was a one-time thing” “They love me and they’re sorry and promise to not do it again.”

The pull of those statements, the control those sentences exert on the victim are overwhelming. Giving the victim hope is one of the most cruel things that happens. Hope that the abuse will stop. Hope that they will be ok from now on. Hope that the original sweet-natured person will come back again.

You see, it’s the hope for all these things that keeps a victim there.

It can also be because the victim no longer has financial control and literally cannot afford to leave. It can be because the last time she tried to leave, he threatened her children, family, and/or friends; sometimes, he even makes good on those threats (in case you don’t read the news, this has happened at LEAST 5 times in the last 3 months).

Now that this has happened a few times, the abuse begins to intensify, with stronger consequences. Bruising, fear, anxiety, PTSD, sexual assaults and/or rape, forced pregnancy, punching, pushing, etc. The shame that accompanied the tiny abuse has grown exponentially and so has the need to “cover it up”. 

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But the reasons why domestic violence occurs in the first place is our fault as a culture. When we teach boys to not cry and withhold emotion and value sexual conquest and bodily strength and athletic ability above all else, when we teach girls to put others’ needs before our own and suppress their desires and emotions and to fear being called a slut or whore when we desire sex or being told it was our fault when we are raped, when we teach people to stay out of others’ private lives because “it’s none of my business”, when we teach people it’s ok to judge others and call each other sluts and whores or weak for not getting out of an abusive situation, we create a culture where domestic violence is going to happen. 

We as a culture have made it harder for abusive partners to not be abusive in the first place and for victims to leave abusive partners at all. We have made re-victimizing people, either by telling them it’s their fault if they get abused because they’re staying or by watching the TMZ video a million times or by sharing it with others, a way of life.

We as a culture should be ashamed.

If you said any of the following:

  • "She’s an idiot for staying."
  • "She deserves what she gets."
  • "Only morons apology for getting beat up."
  • "He said he was sorry. We need to mind our own businesses."
  • "Boys will be boys."
  • "She probably provoked him, it’s her fault she got punched."
  • "She just cost him millions of dollars/he’ll never work again because of her."

… you’re contributing to the cycle, not stopping it.

If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed by all of this, or if it’s happening to someone you know, SAY SOMETHING. Silence feeds the violence.

There are ways to get help. Ways to get help include:

  • Calling the police. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Calling hotlines. Learn more about different help hotlines. Hotlines provide support and resources. They also can help you create a safety plan for leaving an abuser.
  • Reaching out to people you trust. People who care want to help. You can start with family, friends, or community organizations.
  • Talking to a health care professional. Doctors, nurses, and counselors can offer physical aid, emotional support, and resources. Go to a hospital emergency room if you need immediate help for injuries.
  • Contacting a shelter or rape crisis center. Shelters provide food, housing, and other types of help. You can find shelters and services by contacting a hotline or through state resources.
  • Contacting an advocate. Advocates are people who are trained to help someone who has lived through domestic violence, dating violence, or sexual assault. You can talk to an advocate on the phone or in person, confidentially and for free. Advocates can explain options and programs in your community that may include legal support, counseling, emergency services, and other resources. Advocates work in shelters and in community-based programs. You can learn more by calling help hotlines.

This world is smaller than you think. If we took the time to care about each other, holy shit, this place would be a wonderful place to live.

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Tuesday Sep 9 1pm  2 notes

 
 

8 Out Of 10 Americans Don’t Know Basic Facts About Abortion

Originally posted here.

Great news! Living in a red state does not reduce the amount of knowledge one has about abortion. Related: Terrible news! Living in a blue state does not increase the amount of knowledge one has about abortion.

According to the results of a recent survey by University of Cincinnati sociologist Danielle Bessett, the red state/blue state political divide plays a negligible role in shaping voters’ understanding of abortion — because regardless of where Americans live, they’re pretty much equally uninformed about women’s legal rights and reproductive health facts. Bessett and her colleagues found that political beliefs and location did not reflect the highly partisan nature of abortion views, nor did they seem to influence education about the issue. A mere 13 percent of respondents exhibited a “high knowledge” of abortion, exhibited by the ability to answer at least four of six questions correctly on the topic.

The questions included in the survey were fairly basic, but alas, without adequate sex education, they appeared to be difficult for most Americans. While the data did initially seem to show support for the divide between conservative and liberal states when it came to individual respondents’ knowledge of reproductive health and personal political views, Bessett ultimately discovered that personal views didn’t really matter. Few people could answer the following correctly:

  1. What percentage of women in the U.S. will have an abortion by age 45? (Correct answer: 33 percent; percentage of respondents who answered correctly: 41 percent)
  2. Which has a greater health risk: An abortion in the first three months of pregnancy or giving birth? (Correct answer: giving birth; percentage of respondents who answered correctly: 31 percent)
  3. A woman who has an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is more likely to have breast cancer than if she were to continue the pregnancy. (Correct answer: disagree somewhat/disagree strongly; percentage of respondents who answered correctly: 37 percent)
  4. A woman who has an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is more at risk of a serious mental health problem than if she were to continue that pregnancy. (Correct answer: disagree somewhat/disagree strongly; percentage of respondents who answered correctly: 31 percent)
  5. A woman having an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy is more likely to have difficulty getting pregnant in the future. (Correct answer: disagree somewhat/disagree strongly; percentage of respondents who answered correctly: 35 percent)
  6. Abortion during the first three months of pregnancy is legal in the U.S. (Correct answer: true; percentage of respondents who answered correctly: 83 percent)

Tuesday Sep 2 1pm  1 note

 
 

Why is it easier to invent anti-rape nail polish than find a way to stop rapists?

Originally posted here.

You shouldn’t expect women to wear modern chastity belts or a real-life vagina dentata to be safe from sexual assault. by 

There are a lot of things I expect nail polish to do: dry fast, chip infrequently and make me look halfway put-together. Something I don’t generally depend on my manicure for, however, is warding off rapists. But the members of the all-male invention team behind Undercover Colors – four students at North Carolina State University – say that, with their new polish, “any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger.”

I’m appreciative that young men like want to curb sexual assault, but anything that puts the onus on women to “discreetly” keep from being raped misses the point. We should be trying to stop rape, not just individually avoid it.

If it were truly that simple, previous iterations of this same concept would have worked. Remember “anti-rape underwear”Or the truly terrifying “Rapex” – a female condom that would insert tiny hooks into an assailant’s penis? You can’t really expect women to wear modern chastity belts or a real-life vagina dentata in order to be safe. That’s not trying to stop rape - it’s essentially arguing that some people getting raped is inevitable.

Even if a woman were to wear special nail polish or anti-rape underwear, or if she listens to common – but misplaced – advice about not getting drunk and always walking home in a group, all she’s supposedly ensuring is that she won’t be attacked. (And even then it’s not real security, because women who do all the “right” things get raped too) What about the girl at the same party who decided to have a few drinks that night? So long as it isn’t me isn’t an effective strategy to end rape.

Prevention tips or products that focus on what women do or wear aren’t just ineffective, they leave room for victim-blaming when those steps aren’t taken. Didn’t wear your anti-rape underwear? Well what did you expect?

That’s a familiar refrain. In a Bloomberg article last week, for example, one Stanford student compared women who get raped to unlocked bicycles:

‘Do I deserve to have my bike stolen if I leave it unlocked on the quad?’ [Chris] Herries, 22, said. ‘We have to encourage people not to take on undue risk’ that might make them targets of the criminal conduct of others,’ he said.

The problem is that simply being female in public remains an undue risk. Do we really believe that half the population should be required to avoid parties, socializing, drinking, cute clothes and walking alone if they don’t want to be raped?

As former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir said after a cabinet member suggested that women be given a curfew to curb a spate of sexual assaults: “But it’s the men who are attacking the women. If there’s to be a curfew, let the men stay home, not the women.”

If we want to stop rape – not merely avoid it – we need to hold rapists accountable and stop blaming victims.

Much like its tagline (“Choice Matters: The First Fashion Company Empowering Women to Stop Sexual Assault”), Undercover Colors’ polish and products like it only offer the veneer of equality and safety. And that’s simply not good enough.

Tuesday Aug 26 11am  1 note

 
 

Lies About Female Genitals

I stumbled upon this post in the Huffington Post by  and simultaneously laughed and emphatically nodded my head to each of her points. Stop shaming women into thinking their genitals are disgusting. Everything she states here, while a little graphic, are 100% the truth. 

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WARNING: This post contains sexually explicit language. Please read on at your own discretion.

This unfortunately crossed my desk this morning, and now my pussy is sad.

"[W]ouldn’t you prefer to be that girl who smells and tastes a treat down there?" this incredibly irritating and offensive blog post begins.

Here we go again: women being told their vulvas and vaginas aren’t good enough in their natural state. They have to be scrubbed and waxed and have food products shoved inside them. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

How to Make Your Vagina Smell and Taste Delicious,” the post is titled, because of course you have to make it that way because A) it isn’t that way already, and B) you somehow owe it to the world to do that.

All of this pussy shaming is exhausting. It leaves women — even women-loving women — feeling like there’s something wrong with us, that we’re not worthy, that our sexuality hangs in the balance of other people’s approval of our naturally lacking body parts. Argh.

"Wash it!" this blogger begins. "The obvious first step to having fragrant, delicious private bits would be to thoroughly wash down there at least twice a day."

Nope. Your vulva and vagina do not need to be scrubbed clean twice a day. It is not dirty. I repeat: Unless you just ran a marathon, sat in the sun for hours, or rolled naked in the mud, your nether regions are not inherently dirty. The vagina creates a very particular, balanced environment for itself. There’s no need to mess with it.

Language like this adds to the vulvar and vaginal shame that so many women already feel. And, sadly, despite the presence of two vulvas and vaginas, this shaming and self-loathing can still exist in lesbian relationships. Your pussy is perfect. It looks perfect. It smells perfect. And it can cause you to feel perfectly wonderful things. Barring an infection — yeast, bacterial or otherwise — all it needs is some lovely, warm water run over it when you shower. Period.

Yes, as the blogger explains, pussies like fresh air, and they do not like to be sprayed. But, once again, neither she nor anyone else should be dictating your undergarment or laundry-detergent choices. I don’t know what kind of detergent she’s using, but mine has never left a Downy-fresh smell on my pussy. (Note: Don’t put dryer sheets in your vagina.) And my lacy thongs are cotton or have a cotton lining. So I’m all good, thank you.

"Wax it! Sweat cause odors and pubic hair retains sweat. By waxing, the chance of odor caused by sweat is significantly reduced and in my opinion, a waxed vagina is visually more appealing."

The only thing I really want to say to this is, quite simply, “Fuck you.” First of all, you can’t wax a vagina. It has no hair. The vagina is the internal canal.

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Wednesday Aug 20 11am  2 notes

 
 

Having Sex as a Little Person

Although I don’t specialize in sexual health education regarding disabilities, it’s obviously just as important to discuss it as everything else I talk about here. Sex is important to many people, and being able to help those who want to experience a healthy and satisfying sexual life regardless of disability status is a remarkable thing.

Which is why I love this article from The Atlantic, The Challenges of Having Sex as a Little Person. 

[Dr. Marylou] Naccarato is the first in her field to extensively study the sexual needs specific to the Little People community on the physical, emotional, and psychosocial level. “She is really a true pioneer in her own right,” says Dr. Patti Britton, a mentor to Naccarato and the co-founder of Sex Coach U. “She is the first person I know of in the Little People community who has had the courage and the wherewithal to design and implement programs and materials designed specifically for the Little People community around their specific sexual needs.”

As a little person herself, she clearly knew there was a need to understand how little people have sex, as well as give information on best ways for little people to adapt to positions that were physically easier but also satisfying.

Married to an average-sized man at the time, Naccarato and her husband adapted their sex lives because she had issues with her hip—like most Little People do—leading to issues with straddling. “Most of us will have hip implants and knee implants for mobility due to bone degeneration,” she explains. They adapted a side-by-side position to cope with her pain. “So when I saw the program on TV I thought, ‘Wow, I wonder what other people are doing in our community because no one is talking about it.’”

Sixty-seven percent of the Little People in Naccarato’s studies who could not reach their genitals felt that sex was very important. “This is so critical,” Naccarato explains, “because it tells me that Little People do want more satisfaction in their sex life even if they are physically limited, and are receptive to change and education.”

I’m pretty much obsessed with the fact that not only did she quit her job as an IRS agent and became a well-known, credentialed sex educator, but the entrepreneur in her also soared because of her ability to market products specifically for little people to have better sex.

In addition to the comprehensive workshop and manual basics, her website boasts a long list of tools in the shopping section, ranging from her patented Love Bench, which Jacobs and Dorren are the models for, to vibrators for women who can’t reach their genitals and pillows with “fleshlights” embedded inside for male masturbation when their arms are not long enough to reach their penis. She also sells other tools, like condoms that are easier to put on for people with limited dexterity, and special pillows to assist in repositioning.

We could all learn something from this special lady. As she puts it:

“Life is short,” she says. “And so am I.”

Monday Aug 11 12pm  153 notes

 
 

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Posted Thursday Aug 7 2pm  2 notes

 
 




Over 100,000 UltraViolet and CREDO Mobile members have signed the petition demanding that the NFL treat domestic violence as a serious crime. It’s time for Commissioner Goodell to take action. http://bit.ly/UxcPmO

Over 100,000 UltraViolet and CREDO Mobile members have signed the petition demanding that the NFL treat domestic violence as a serious crime. It’s time for Commissioner Goodell to take action. http://bit.ly/UxcPmO

View HD • Posted Friday Aug 1 11am  4 notes

 
 

This Is What Sex-Positive Parenting Really Looks Like

YES AND MORE YES. I get questions all the time about how to talk to kids about sex. It’s so much easier than you think. And it’s completely and totally necessary. It’s not optional, parents. Read below for more.

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Post was found here. Written by .  

It happened yet again. As I was sitting at the table for dinner with my children, I noticed my daughter’s hand fishing around under her skirt.

"We don’t play with our vulvas at the table. Go wash your hands and finish your food," I scolded. She nodded, ran off to wash her hands, and resumed picking at her dinner instead.

Small children, they touch themselves. A lot. It’s fascinating to them. And when you’re a small child, you have no sense of shame or disgust or fear of your body. Your body is what it is. It does what it does. And everything that it does is kind of amazing, because you’re not old enough for lower back pain. It’s not sexual, it’s just… fact.

The first time I caught one of my kids playing with their genitals, I said absolutely nothing. I was momentarily paralyzed with indecision. One thing I knew for a fact I did not want to do was to shout, “No!” or “Stop!” What good could that possibly do? Sure, I would be spared the awkwardness of catching my child playing with her genitals on the living room floor, but what kind of lesson is that? To fear or ignore your own vagina?

I thought about it almost constantly for two days, and of course she gave me a second chance to react.

"Sweetie, we don’t play with our vulvas in the living room," I said. Which sounded ridiculous and strange, but nonetheless true. Why is everything with little kids "we" statements? "It’s OK to touch your vulva, but people are private, and it’s a private thing. The only places where you should touch your vulva are in the bathroom or in your bedroom. If you want to play with your vulva, please go to the bedroom."

And she smiled and did, without question, because compartmentalizing where you do certain activities makes sense to little kids.

"We don’t eat in the bathroom, and we don’t touch our vulvas in the living room," became the new mantra. And yes, eventually it became, "We don’t touch our vulvas at the table."

I’m what some people call “sex-positive.” That doesn’t mean I talk with my 4-year-olds about how great sex is and how good it feels. It means I don’t pretend it’s something other than it is.

As parents, we lie all the time. About the Easter Bunny or Santa or the Tooth Fairy, about how long 10 minutes is, about whether or not we remembered they wanted to have grilled cheese for dinner again… We lie a lot. But one thing I never lie about is sex.

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Wednesday Jul 30 1pm  19 notes

 
 

Know Your Money!

It’s super sad and depressing to think that still to this day, women are being held hostage by money. Not because they are greedy, but because they simply didn’t take control of their finances when entering a relationship.

I cannot stress this enough: financial education is JUST as important as any other type of education. Don’t let anyone control you because they control your money.

“Financial abuse, whether you’re talking about ruining her credit, getting her fired or hiding the money, is just as effective in controlling an abused victim as a lock and key,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “If your credit has been ruined, you can’t get an apartment. If you’ve been fired twice because your abuser harasses you at work, you can’t get a job. Women are literally being forced, because of financial dependency, back into abusive relationships.”

Many women who are in abusive relationships name finances as the number one reason they can’t leave. Start early and start young. Know how to work your money, how to save, how to build credit, and don’t let anyone else run those things for you.

[T]he Rutgers University School of Social Work released the results of a 14-month study that evaluated the most commonly used financial education program for domestic violence survivors in the U.S., called the Moving Ahead through Financial Management Curriculum

The study found women who received the financial curriculum significantly improved financial literacy, attitudes, intentions and behaviors, and reported less financial strain than the women who did not receive the training. On every single financial variable, the women who received the training did significantly better over time than the women who did not.

Love NEVER looks like someone telling you when and where you can spend your money. Love NEVER looks like someone destroying your credit so that you can’t get a job or a place to live. Love is NEVER any of these things.

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Friday Jul 25 10am  289 notes

 
 
 
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