On March 12, 2008, following an argument, Michael Ryan Hollow of Nottingham, Pennsylvania
shot his girlfriend, Mae Marie Davis, twice in the head before turning the gun on himself.
Both Mae and Michael were 17 years old.
Any acts of domestic violence are unacceptable, but those that take the life of girls and boys who haven’t even had the chance to grow into adulthood seem to be that much more shocking. Dating violence among adolescents and young adults is prevalent in our society, and must be addressed. Statistics show that 1 in 4 teens, both boys and girls, will experience dating violence before they graduate from high school.
June is National Children’s Awareness Month, a month to take time to reflect on our responsibility as a community to keep our youth safe – safe from adults, safe from themselves, and safe from one another. We, as a community, must teach today’s youth about healthy relationships, their rights and responsibilities in a relationship, how to recognize unhealthy and potentially dangerous relationships, and that there are people and places for them to turn to if they find themselves in an unhealthy situation.
Pennsylvania’s House Bill 2026 (HB2026), which is pending legislation, proposes to put in place trainings and education in our secondary schools for both administration and students in regards to dating violence – what it looks like and what resources are available.
In response to HB2026 as well as wanting to provide comprehensive services to all victims of domestic and dating violence, A Woman’s Place (AWP) will enhance programs to better meet the needs of younger populations. AWP has organized a Teen Advisory Board (TAB), comprised of students from various local high schools to help design materials and produce events that raise awareness of healthy relationships and dating violence. In the coming year, AWP will strengthen programs so as to be able to offer peer education and support. Programs and services specifically for youth ages 14 through 24 will include peer counseling through crisis lines and support groups. Updates to our Web site will include information about dating violence, discussion forums, and online chats.
By providing these services, AWP can help to make a difference in the lives of Bucks County youth every day, but we can’t make that difference without your help. Every donation made towards the “A Difference in a Day” Campaign helps to fund our programs and services, including those for the youth of the community. We have less than a month left of the campaign. Our goal to raise $65,000 by June 30th is still attainable with the help of loyal supporters like you. With a gift of $25, $50, or more, you can make a difference.
|Making a gift to A Woman’s Place is easy! Here’s how:
(1) Write a check and mail it to A Woman’s Place at PO Box 299, Doylestown, PA 18901.
(2) Call Development Associate Jenny Salisbury, at (215) 343-9241 ext. 108 and make a gift using your credit card.
(3) Log onto the website at www.awomansplace.org, click on the “Donate Now” button, and make a safe and secure donation online.
Take time this month to reflect on how important it is to work towards creating a safe world for our youth to grow and thrive in and how you can contribute – whether it be through education, volunteering, or making a donation.
You can make the difference!
With deepest appreciation,
Donna J. Byrne