speak out >> getting organized

Before you go public, you have to get organized. Here are some on
how you can organize a group to raise awareness about dating abuse.

Recruit peers
Are you already part of a peer group at school or in your community? It's often easier
to start new endeavors when you've already got an established group of folks who are
already interested in volunteering and raising awareness. Consider asking your team,
troupe, or organization to adopt dating abuse as a focus area
for a year or special
topic for a month.

If you're ready to start a new leadership group to take on dating abuse, you'll need to
recruit peers. First, learn your school or community organization's rules for creating
new groups.
Do you need to have an adult advisor? Or sign up for a meeting time and
space? Once you know what's required, begin recruiting. Ask good friends and classmates you respect to join in. Put up flyers in your school or community advertising a first meeting;
be sure to include the time and location! Write an article for the school newspaper or
make an announcement looking for new members. At your initial meeting have people
sign-in on a roster and collect contact information (locker number, phone number, or email address). Decide as a group who the leaders are and what the group wants to be called.
Next you'll need to think about what issues you want to focus on.

Identify the issues
Dating abuse is a big issue but awareness projects need to be specifically created
to fit your community's needs.

It's important to brainstorm all of the issues that you think contribute to dating abuse
in your community. Do peers know the signs of abuse? Are teens silent when they're
witnessing violent situations? What types of abuse do you see the most? Do you
notice texting or blogging being used in an abusive way? If so, perhaps you need to
focus on a technology campaign.

You can use our tools to get you started brainstorming the issues in your community.

Research
Research can be a scary word. But, researching the issues you've brainstormed can
help you decide what you want to focus on. Search the web for information on the
issues. Create a survey to distribute at school or poll people in your community.
Conduct informal conversations with friends about the issues and make notes.
Once you know more about the issues and your options, you can begin narrowing
down your ideas.


Start with one or two ideas at first. It's easier to gain support and sustain your campaign
if you start with a narrow focus. Once you know what issues you want to target, it's time
to make a plan to go public.
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