One Love Foundation Expands Efforts to Reach Students

escalation4The Florida Times-Union is reporting that the One Love Foundation will soon be expanding its efforts to reach students in Northeast Florida.  The organization, which was created in 2010 by the family of University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Reynolds Love, is planning to host its “Escalation” workshop at all regional high schools and colleges by the end of 2015.

The workshop includes a screening of the foundation’s brief feature-film, Escalation, followed by a group discussion led by a One Love facilitator or a campus facilitator trained by One Love. According the foundation’s website, the facilitator guides students through a meaningful discussion about relationship violence, the warning signs of an abusive relationship and how this relates to their lives.  “What we’re about is teaching kids about healthy relationships,” said Katie Hood, CEO of the One Love Foundation, in the Times-Union article.  “I have been shocked how hungry kids are for that information.”

While the initial roll out of the workshop is aimed at universities (Jacksonville University was one of six pilot sites), there are plans to take this to the high school level as well.  Generation W speaker Kim Ward, chairman of the One Love Foundation, said the foundation is currently walking with Jacksonville-area high schools and Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is interested in making this program part of the health curriculum.   Here is an excerpt from the article:

It’s One Love’s goal to mobilize college kids to get involved in ending relationship violence in their communities. Hood said she wants this to be the number one issue for this generation.

According to the National Institute of Justice, women experience more intimate partner violence than do men: 22.1 percent of surveyed women, compared with 7.4 percent of surveyed men, reported they were physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, or date in their lifetimes.

The issue erupted in the NFL last summer and fall when a number of prominent athletes were involved in violent confrontations with girlfriends. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was kicked off the team after a video of him knocking down his then-fiancee, now wife, in a hotel elevator went viral.

When President Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, the strengthened law afforded additional rights to campus victims of sexual, dating and domestic violence and stalking, according to the Clery Center for Security on Campus, a non-profit organization.

Every post-secondary institution participating in Title IV programs is required to compile statistics on incidents of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence that occur on campus.

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