Women In Distress and The Jim Moran Foundation Partner to Help Teens in Violent Relationships

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - (June 21, 2005) Teens are the fastest growing population experiencing domestic abuse. The importance placed on peer approval and lack of dating experience only further complicate a violent teen relationship. Alarmingly, pregnancy often becomes a result of the abuse. Teens, like adult victims, are at a greater risk of experiencing abuse while pregnant. To make it worse, they may be blamed or judged for their pregnancy, leading to feelings of isolation and helplessness - all factors making it easier to be manipulated and controlled.

Through partnership with The Jim Moran Foundation, Women In Distress (WID) educates our community's pregnant teens and teen mothers that abuse is not okay. For more than five years, Women In Distress has been presenting the Broward County School Board-approved program It's Not Okay to middle and high school students. A $50,000 grant from The Jim Moran Foundation has expanded the program to further its reach and educate pregnant teens and teenage mothers in our community at Broward County Schools and agencies serving this population. It's Not Okay educates participants on the dynamics of dating violence, healthy and unhealthy relationships and the resources available for help.

Funding has also allowed participants to meet privately with WID advocates onsite, making it easier for a teen victim to seek help. Through the expansion funded by The Jim Moran Foundation, the program has further grown to include education on the effects of domestic violence on children, as requested by partner agencies.

By educating teens at this crucial stage of their social, emotional and intellectual development, they learn that violence is not part of a normal, loving relationship. It's Not Okay gives students a better understanding of the nature of domestic violence, its prevalence in our community, and the resources available for help. These efforts help in breaking the generational cycle of abuse.

Through The Jim Moran Foundation-funded program, WID will reach 1,000 youth who will learn to recognize and implement change as it relates to domestic violence. This outreach program also includes training for partner agency staff to recognize the signs of domestic violence, the dynamics of domestic violence and available resources.

Founded in 1974, WID is Broward County's only state-certified and nationally accredited domestic violence agency. The mission of Women In Distress of Broward County Inc. is "To stop abuse for everyone through education, intervention and treatment." For information on It's Not Okay and other WID programs, please call (954) 760-9800 or visit www.womenindistress.org 24-hour crisis hotline: 954-761-1133.

The Jim Moran Foundation (The Foundation) is a non-profit charitable organization, 501(c)(3). Significant funding for The Foundation is provided through a cooperative giving commitment with JM Family Enterprises, Inc. JM Family's Honorary Chairman Jim Moran established The Foundation in 2000 to continue his vision of charitable giving in perpetuity. The mission of The Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Boulevard, Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more about The Foundation, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call 954/429-2122.