Dr. Kottke, Elizabeth Cardenas, Marie Mitchell, Billette Owens-Ashford, Joycelyn Wilson, Artesse Conley-Grady High School

Dr. Kottke, Elizabeth Cardenas, Marie Mitchell, Billette Owens-Ashford, Joycelyn Wilson, Artesse Conley-Grady High School

Alesia Layne, Lewis Autor, Jane Fonda, Larry Leek

Alesia Layne, Lewis Autor, Jane Fonda, Larry Leek

I was at The Jane Fonda Center (at the Emory Univ School of Medicine) this morning at a press conference to announce the launch of a new program to stop teen dating violence funded with a generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, during the 12 months prior to the survey, nearly one out of ten high school students nationwide had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. In Georgia the statistics are even higher: Approximately 1 in 6 report teen dating violence and the violence is occurring at a much younger age. A 2009 DCD study found that nearly half of 6th graders (42.1 percent) who were in a relationship also reported experiencing physical dating violence in the past 3 months. Partnering with the Atlanta Public School system, the Dept of Juvenile Justice and numerous other organizations, this multi-year effort has a 4-point strategy to stop dating violence and abuse: educating teens; engaging the parents, teachers and other adults who influencing young people; changing public policy; and implementing social marketing.

Besides doing physical harm and even causing death, Teen dating violence and abuse is associated with higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancy, STDs, depression, and suicidal tendencies.

This is a problem that impacts more than 1 million young people each year, crossing all race and socio-economic boundaries, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of violence and abuse.

It was a large and wonderful event with a broad showing of support from elected officials, professors at Emory School of Medicine, Grady Teen Clinic, Atlanta Public School officials and the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. About 15 high School Students performed a song they have created about the new program to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” I saw many old friends whom I haven’t seen in over a year– Dr Sarah Berga, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology which houses the JF Center, Dr Ralph DeClementii, professor and researcher in the filed of adolescent reproductive health, the nationally respected Dr Marion Howard in whose name I endowed a chair at Emory School of Medicine, Marie Mitchell who used to run the Grady Teen Clinic and who is now at the JF Center and the JF Center director, Missy Kottke. I’m so proud of the work they are doing. If you want to know more, check out the Jane Fonda Center Website that’s shown on the right column at the front page of my blog.

Tiffany Vernon-Grady High School

Tiffany Vernon-Grady High School

Tiffany Vernon - Grady High School

Tiffany Vernon - Grady High School

Dr. Berga, Jane Fonda, Dr. Kottke

Dr. Berga, Jane Fonda, Dr. Kottke

Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, Billette Owens-Ashford, Rosa McKnight, Jane Fonda, Marie Mitchell

Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, Billette Owens-Ashford, Rosa McKnight, Jane Fonda, Marie Mitchell

Owens-Ashford, Jane, Elizabeth Cardenas-Tri-Cities High School

Owens-Ashford, Jane, Elizabeth Cardenas-Tri-Cities High School

Now I am about to board a flight to New York to celebrate the 25th Anniversay of the Children’s Aid Society’s Adolecsent Pregnacy Prevention program started and still run by my mentor in the field, Dr Michael Carrera. I will be honored to talk about him tonight.

After that my friend, the brilliant and funny Hilton Als, who is writing a profile on me for the New Yorker, will take me to dinner at Orso’s where we frst me during my run in ” 33 Variations.”

See you next time

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  1. I so loved her movie with jlo..

  2. Congratulations on all your wonderful work for teenagers, for all that you are doing to make this world a better place for people everywhere. I believe that people who criticize you are very small minded and short-sighted and have no idea of all the things you do on this earth. God bless you and I pray that He takes care of you and yours and draws you close to Himself…

    My very best regards, Mary J McConnell

  3. Wow! What an exceptionally gifted example you are to the art of community and giving. Thank you Jane for helping to reset our standards!

  4. Thank you Jane Fonda and Sec.Hillary Clinton for taking action against violence against women.

    Women keep the PEACE! SPEAK OUT!
    Bust the brutality!
    Stick together, stay strong and stay safe!

    ya sista,

  5. I definitely commend you on this important work that you do. Unfortunately, this issue is taken all too lightly by so many people — “boys will be boys, girls shouldn’t “ask for it”, etc. The recent news of the case against Roman Polanski is a good case in point. Even your brother apparently has been quoted as lessening the importance of the rape of a 13 year old girl by saying, “no one was killed or anything”. Well, that’s true, and I don’t know the whole story, and it’s been 30 years, or whatever, and even the victim wants this to be over. But perhaps she’s just saying that because it’s been so long and she’s gotten on with her life. What we must still remember is that this kind of violence is NEVER okay, and there are NEVER excuses that make it okay. Until we as a society do that, it will continue to be a problem. Thanks for shedding some light on it.

  6. Thanks much, Jane, for helping bring this to light – it’s very much needed for our young people. Too many of them have grown up watching violence in their homes and friend’s homes and they are numb to it and don’t know how to stop it, etc. People like you are our only hope to combat it.

  7. What else is there to say about this that I haven’t already? Wow – 6th graders? That is a very scary thought. I’m in 11th grade and could understand maybe at this age there could be some physical dating violence. At any age it is wrong! Personally I think it has a lot to do with the girl’s self confidence. “Yes, he hits me, but he loves me.” No my friend, he doesn’t. You don’t hurt somebody you love. I think most kids learn that when they’re in preschool.

    It’s unfortunate that there are many girls who don’t feel they are good enough. They end up settling for the first guy who comes along, no matter how he treats her. Every girl deserves somebody to love and care for them properly. There is no one out there who doesn’t deserve love. It’s okay to be single. I’d rather be single, than be black and blue. These girls are young; there is plenty of time for dating. Enjoy the single life now. It’s so important to have that self respect, because if not you end up in a situation that you really don’t want to be in.

    Thank you, Jane for speaking on this subject. I hope you know what it means to us!

  8. OMG, those statistics are astounding and so very sad! I have 2 girls and a boy all in 6th grade right now (triplets) I can’t IMAGINE one of them coming home and telling me something like that.
    Thanks so much for bringing awareness to this subject.

    Michelle K.

  9. Love the work you are doing, Jane. By the way, you look incredibly rested and your hair is fabulous! 🙂

  10. This looks like a great event, Jane;-)

  11. To prevent unwanted pregnancy, in my country it was decided that the placement of the IUD is free for all women. The Ministry of Health will make the purchase and distribution to all medical institutions.

  12. I enjoyed reading about this, Jane! The pictures are great! I’m going to read more about the JF Center. You must be very proud of the work they are doing! Thank you for all that you’ve done for young girls in Georgia! You’ve done so much for others not just young girls!

  13. Good on you Jane and all who work on these causes. It is a horrifying bunch of stats that you have there. I work and communicate with a lot of teens in my job and I also go to Youth Conferences and work alongside Youth Councillors and Youth Workers, but I always want to do more. Keep up the good work.

  14. My home emial has been down, today I return to work to read about two of the latest great things that you have done. You are stil going so strong and sharing it with your many admireres. This connection is something that I treasure. Keep it up. As women we should rush at breakneck speed so tht guys have to run just as fast to catch us. And that’s only one of the reasons. I now zap around in Shape Ups deliberately going up inclines and stairs. You are my inspiration!

    Love alsays,

    Mary Jane

  15. Hi Jane.

    Keep the hard work and I hope one day you win the noble prize for all the work you have done and contributed for.

    You looking beautiful as ever.

  16. Thank you for sharing your life with us through your blog. Very inspiring!

  17. You seek to amaze and inspire me with your commitments to the causes you support.

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