Hanging Out or Hooking Up: Clinical Guidelines on Responding to Adolescent Relationship Abuse: An Integrated Approach to Prevention and Intervention
New guidelines for working with teens! Hanging Out or Hooking Up: Clinical Guidelines on Responding to Adolescent Relationship Abuse: An Integrated Approach to Prevention and Intervention focuses on the transformative role of the adolescent health care provider in preventing, identifying and addressing adolescent relationship abuse. These guidelines are applicable to providers working in a range of settings serving adolescents, including adolescent health, pediatrics, family planning clinics, and school-based health centers.
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New article, produced by the Center for American Progress, illustrates that reproductive and sexual health services are basic, primary health care needs for young women in the U.S. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will respond to these needs and address many of the barriers that young women face in their access to affordable reproductive health care.
New study by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Seventeen Magazine reveals the real perspectives of high school senior girls on sex, coercion, love, contraception, their parents, their pasts, and their futures.
Please tell Congressional Leadership: Get The REAL VAWA (S.1925) Passed!
Join the 10 Days of Action: Insist that Violence Against Women Act Can’t Wait.
With Congress about to adjourn for the July 4th holiday and gridlock having stalled VAWA, we need your help! Please join Futures without Violence and a coalition of partners in every state to call for the reauthorization of the REAL Violence Against Women Act that protects ALL victims.
Despite the fact that our nation has made progress to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy, many communities of color continue to struggle with disproportionately high rates. To provide new resources, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer introduced The Communities of Color Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2011.
Watch Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s floor statement about the bill.
Let’s hear it for Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)! These two long-time champions of efforts to reduce health disparities and violence among ethnic communities today introduced the “Communities of Color Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2011.” Recognizing the need for a broader approach to address teen pregnancy in communities of color, including the role coercion and violence plays in unintended pregnancy, HR 2678/ S 1437 aims to help young people of color get information and skills they need to build healthy relationships.
In 2009, the teen birth rate for Latinas, African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives was more than double the teen birth rate of non-Hispanic Caucasians. However, disparities in contraceptive use are closely connected to social and economic inequities in communities of color; for example, a Latina girl is three times more likely to be without health insurance than her white counterpart.
New research also shows that teen dating violence and abuse, including reproductive coercion, is associated with higher levels of teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy. In fact, adolescent girls in physically abusive relationships are three times more likely to become pregnant than non-abused girls.
The Communities of Color Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act will:
- fund teenage pregnancy prevention program interventions that serve youth in ethnic and racial groups with the highest teen pregnancy rates;
- fund multimedia public education and awareness about teen pregnancy and violence prevention;
- study factors that contribute to disproportionately high rates of teenage and unintended pregnancy in communities of color.
“Dating violence is a growing crisis among our teens ,” said Esta Soler, Founder and President of Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund. “Teens in abusive relationships are at significantly higher risk for unintended pregnancy, poor pregnancy outcomes, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. These can be reduced if we teach young people how to create and build healthy relationships.”
Read more about the Communities of Color Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act.
In a major health care victory for those who experience reproductive coercion, health care plans may soon cover screening and counseling women for domestic and interpersonal violence, and pay for all FDA-approved contraceptives. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the Institute of Medicine has recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services include these and other women’s health preventative services as mandatory requirements in new health care plans.
“With nearly one quarter of women experiencing violence or abuse at some point in their lifetimes and millions of children affected, the prevalence data clearly argues for this population to receive early assessment and counseling,” said Lisa James, Director of the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence at Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund.
Abused women and girls are at significantly higher risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and poor pregnancy outcomes. Those who experience reproductive coercion may have partners who attempt to sabotage their birth control (such as flushing pills down the toilet), so a method such as an implant or a shot may be more effective at preventing pregnancy. While those methods currently may have a cost barrier, the recommendations encourage HHS to make all methods of FDA-approved contraception available without a co-pay. The IOM report is a monumental leap toward ensuring that our health care system and providers will be partners in identifying and helping victims of reproductive coercion.
Read more about the historic policy change that will help decrease violence against women on the Futures Without Violence site.
Sara’s husband insisted that she undergo round after round of in vitro fertilization; Michelle’s boyfriend told her birth control pills made her “fat and crazy” and then forced her to abort when she became pregnant; Angela became pregnant three times after forced sex with her husband and eventually convinced a physician to give her a hysterectomy.
Gretchen Voss, in the July issue of Redbook, tells the stories of these three women who were forced to become pregnant against their will.
The article cites experts on the issue, including Lisa James, director of health for Futures Without Violence, who noted: The last thing an abused woman needs is an unplanned pregnancy because the most dangerous time for a woman in any abusive relationship is when she chooses to escape. And with a child in the mix, it can be even riskier.
The piece also makes connections with current attacks on family planning in Congress:
Domestic violence advocates sounded alarms earlier this year when Congress threatened to stop financing Title X, which funds a variety of family-planning services, including Planned Parenthood. [M}any voters never considered how de-funding these clinics could endanger victims of domestic violence, who turn to them for counseling as well as pregnancy prevention. As new research shows, helping an abused woman prevent an unwanted pregnancy massively increases the odds that she’ll be able to leave her partner. “Abused women will go to their health providers long before they’ll call a domestic violence hotline,” says Dr. Elizabeth Miller, who has studied reproductive coercion in depth. “That contact may be our only chance to help them understand what a healthy relationship should look like.”
Read more in Redbook.
Father’s Day can mean so much more than backyard barbeques and new neckties. This year, Futures Without Violence, formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund, encourages men to start a new tradition by becoming a Founding Father.
Founding Father’s aim is for a new kind of society – where decency and respect require no special day on the calendar, where boys are taught that violence does not equal strength and where men stand with courage, lead with conviction and speak with one voice to say, “No more.”
Read more →