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White House Says 1 is 2 Many

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this is one of a series of posts highlighting ways that victims and perpetrators of domestic violence can stop the cycle by becoming self-reliant.

Despite the current government shutdown, President Barack Obama and the White House already stepped up to take part in the initiative:

"Ending violence in the home is a national imperative that requires vigilance and dedication from every sector of our society. We must continue to stand alongside advocates, victim service providers, law enforcement, and our criminal justice system as they hold offenders accountable and provide care and support to survivors. But our efforts must extend beyond the criminal justice system to include housing and economic advocacy for survivors. We must work with young people to stop violence before it starts. We must also reach out to friends and loved ones who have suffered from domestic violence, and we must tell them they are not alone.

Read the full proclamation by President Barack Obama, released on September 30, 2013."

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The White House also has an ongoing campaign called 1 is 2 Many, focused on dating violence.

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The stats are 1 in 5 female college students are sexually assaulted, 1 in 9 teen girls are forced to have sex, and 1 in 10 are purposely hurt by someone they’re dating.

But the point of the campaign is that 1 young woman hurt or assaulted in any way by someone she trusts is too many.

These types of experiences reduce a girl’s trust in her own self-reliance. Overcoming them and re-building her own foundation of strength can foster that self-reliance to return.

But preventing it from happening in the first place removes one more stumbling block and can create a sense of self-reliance in both parties — one for being able to choose confidence over fear, and one for being able to choose compassion over force.

From the White House:

"Despite the significant progress made in reducing violence against women, there is still a long way to go. Young women still face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In the last year, one in 10 teens have reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One in five young women have been sexually assaulted while they’re in college.

In response to these alarming statistics, Vice President Biden is focusing his longstanding commitment to reducing violence against women specifically on teens and young women ages 16-24. By targeting the importance of changing attitudes that lead to violence and educating the public on the realities of abuse, the Vice President is leading the way in an effort to stop violence against women before it begins."

How can you help?

Raise awareness. Share this video with young people you know.

And encourage them to download one of the Apps Against Abuse, spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden.

"Since many incidents of dating violence and sexual assault occur when the offender, often an acquaintance, has targeted and isolated a young woman in vulnerable circumstances, the goal of the application envisioned was to offer individuals a way to connect with trusted friends in real-time to prevent abuse from occurring. Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of violence and abuse, and while no one can do everything, everyone can do something. These applications are an important step in encouraging young women and men to take an active role in the prevention of dating violence and sexual assault."

BILLIONS RISING, SELF-RELIANCE FOUNDATION 

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