This is a story about what happened nine years ago and why it matters today:
Nine years ago, a group of concerned citizens, and town officials, members of the New Canaan Police Department, area social service agencies and the high school and middle school communities formed the New Canaan Domestic Violence Partnership to raise awareness about domestic violence and to get people in crisis, the help they need.
- Nine years ago, when the partnership began many of our current high school students were only in elementary school or starting middle school
- Nine years ago, there was no twitter. Texting didn’t exist. Mark Zuckerberg was a college student, Facebook hadn’t even been created yet, and social media as we know it today was years away.
- Nine years ago, a lot of cell phones were big and black, and many didn’t even take pictures!
- Nine years ago, the world was very different.
However, some things were the same as they are today. The only difference was that people back then didn’t talk about them.
Nine years ago, people in New Canaan thought domestic violence happened somewhere else. But it didn’t. It happened here; and it still happens here.
Nine years ago, no one in New Canaan talked about relationship abuse or dating violence, but it happened here; and it still happens here.
In the past nine years, one of the main things that has changed, is that relationship abuse among teens and tweens has exploded and cyber bullying has become a national tragedy.
That is why members of the New Canaan domestic violence partnership talk a lot about relationship abuse. We believe if we talk about it and tell people what to look for, they can help themselves and their friends.
So in October, which is domestic violence and dating abuse awareness month, we want to remind the members of the New Canaan community about what to do when they see something that doesn’t feel right.
We want adults and students to know what to do if they are in trouble or they think a friend is in trouble. We don’t want New Canaan to be a community of bystanders who look away when people need help. We want adults to know that they can contact the domestic violence crisis center, the New Canaan Police Department or the New Canaan Human Services Department. We want our kids to know that they can contact a trusted adult in the schools and in their faith communities if they need help.
And we want everyone to know the 10 warning signs of an abusive relationship:
* checking your cell phone without permission
* constantly putting you down
* exhibiting extreme jealousy
* isolating you from friends and family
* making false accusations
* having violent mood swings
* physically hurting you
* being overly possessive
* telling you what to do
If this sounds like you or someone you know, talk to someone. The sooner you or your friend gets help, the better off they will be.
Silence is not golden when it comes to abuse.
Co-Chair, New Canaan Domestic Violence Partnership
For assistance contact:
911 for an emergency
Domestic Violence Crisis Center at 1-888-774-2900
New Canaan Police Dept 203-594-3500
New Canaan Human Services Dept. 203-594-3076