AMEND Together YWCA program adresses teen dating violence

AMEND and Girls, Inc forum participants w Shan Foster(top, 2nd from left)

AMEND Together is a primary prevention initiative of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging men and boys to change the culture that supports violence. Changing a culture that supports violence against women by teaching healthy masculinity and respect. Together, they seek to challenge the culture that supports violence, cultivate healthy masculinity in men and boys, and change the future for women and girls.

Every February, teens and those who support them join together for a national effort to raise awareness about teen dating violence. Dating violence is more common than many people think. YWCA’s youth programs focus on healthy relationships, respect, and empowerment. Girls Inc. and AMEND Together clubs reach and teach more than 1,000 youth across Metro Nashville Public Schools each year.

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, YWCA’s Girls Inc. and AMEND Together teens at Hillsboro High School hosted a Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month forum for more than 100 of their classmates. YWCA domestic violence educator Lauren Lee gave a brief presentation on healthy relationships. This was followed by a conversation on healthy relationships, teen dating violence, and the current culture. The forum was led by students in the Girls Inc. and AMEND Together clubs. YWCA Vice President of External Affairs and AMEND Together Shan Foster moderated.

One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. And nearly half (43%) of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.

AMEND Together partners with Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide AMEND clubs across the city where hundreds of boys are provided a safe space to talk about healthy masculinity and gender-based violence.

AMEND Ambassadors are prominent members of the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community. These men and women lend their expertise to help the YWCA achieve AMEND Together’s goals. Ambassadors work with the AMEND Together team on strategic planning, fundraising, outreach, and events. Go to the website to inquire about becoming an AMEND Together Ambassador.

There is a wonderful opportunity coming up to get that teen boy in your house involved for a week to find out if this program is for him … the upcoming AMEND Together Spring Break Camp. The AMEND Together camp is FREE and it’s taking place for five days, Monday through Friday, March  16-20, 2020, each day from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Antioch, 2261 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217. It is open to boys in middle school (5-8th grade), and there are 40 slots available.

Guest speakers and camp teachers will focus lessons on healthy masculinity, changing a culture, and respect. There will be a strong faith-based component to the camp. Breakfast, Lunch & Healthy Snacks are provided, and there will also be recreational opportunities.

On Thursday, March 19 the youth will be able to attend the AMEND Together night with the Preds with their tickets and transportation to Bridgestone Arena provided. Interested youth should email to register: amendtogether@ywcanashville.com  Learn more about AMEND Together by visiting our website : www.amendtogether.org

The YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee is headquartered at 1608 Woodmont Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee 37215. www.ywcanashville.com

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