So you want to play a role in making Austin teen relationships safer and stronger, but you don't know how to plug into what's going on around town? Here is a list of local youth organizations and programs in which teens like you are taking the lead in making change happen. Each profile includes links to their websites, updates on current events, and ways for you to join these programs. There is also a calendar of local events for youth activism in our community. How will YOU get involved?
Feel like you could use someone to talk to about what's going on in your life? SafePlace provides school-based counseling and peer support groups in middle and high schools If you or someone you know is in an abusive or unhealthy relationship or has experienced sexual abuse/assault or domestic violence, Expect Respect can help. Separate groups for boys and girls are held at school, during the school day For more information about Expect Respect groups at your school, ask your Communities in Schools Program Manager, your school counselor, or contact Agnes at aaoki@SafePlace.org or 512.356.1621 Counseling is also available at SafePlace by calling 512.267-SAFE.
Got leadership potential? Wanna make a difference at your school? Lead your peers in speaking out against dating violence, sexual harassment and bullying. The SafeTeens program trains youth to mobilize their peers through youth-led campaigns and activities on campus. Projects have included posters, PSAs, short films, and skits. For more information or to start a SafeTeens group at your school, contact Randy at rrandolph@SafePlace.org or 512.356.1633.
Do you like to perform? Would you like to use your talent to stop teen relationship violence? Changing Lives is a teen theatre company made up of high school students from across Austin who work together to create original theatrical performances for youth audiences. Their plays tackle issues like bullying, sexual harassment, and dating abuse. School-year and summer seasons are available and all youth in the ensemble are paid! Changing Lives is a collaboration between SafePlace and Theatre Action Project. For more information on how to get involved or to book a performance at your school, contact Susie at at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512.356.1695. Also, visit the Changing Lives blog.
Hey guys – you play a vital role in the fight to stop sexual and domestic violence! Join men of all ages in speaking out. Men Rally for Change is a community-wide collaboration aimed at engaging men, boys and all community members in celebrating safe communities and healthy relationships. For more information on how you can get involved, contact Amy at email@example.com or call at 512.356.1690.
Are you into Hip-Hop, spoken word, and poetry? Join a dynamic community of young hip hop artists and poet-activists who are using their creative expression to strengthen the East Austin community. Teens in The Cipher are speaking out against media messages and social attitudes that encourage racism, sexism, and violence. For more information on how to get involved with The Cipher, contact Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wanna get involved with one of Austin's most unique organizations? TAP is a team of professional artists and educators who use theatre as a tool to promote social change in our schools and communities. TAP's multiple arts programs tackle bullying, dating violence, conflict resolution, and other social issues that concern young people. Through after school programs, youth theatre ensembles, and interactive classroom performances, TAP is promoting dialogue and change in creative and engaging ways. For more information on TAP programs, contact Karen at Karen@theatreactionproject.org or 512.442.8773.
The Boys and Girls Clubs inspire and enable young people to realize their full potential by providing before and after-school programs in Austin area middle and high schools. Through their variety of classes offered, The Clubs help young people to develop character and leadership as well as health and life skills. Some Austin BGCs offer DateSmart, a program which explores dating relationships and encourages positive alternatives to unhealthy or abusive behaviors. For more information on the Boys and Girls Club in your school or neighborhood, call 512.444.7199.
Did you know that your school nurse is a valuable resource for dealing with relationship issues? The AISD nurses and health assistants have received specialized training on teen dating violence and sexual assault, and are there to help. If you or someone you care about has experienced violence or abuse, please know that support is only as far away as the nurse's office.
If you or someone you know has been bullied or harassed at school, talk with a school counselor or administrator. All students have the right to be safe and respected at school. Ask your school counselor or administrator how to file a complaint or request a stay-away agreement. Click here to view a copy of the AISD Student Complaint Form and School-based Stay-Away Agreement and take action to protect yourself and others.