I'm the newest board member of MAAV. It is actually part of my job as a medical social worker at the hospital but I'm excited for the opportunity b/c it is something I believe in too. I've always wanted to be on a board. I've volunteered for SO many organizations and I think it will be nice to help out in another way. So today I attended the board retreat and it was great to meet the other board members. Some have been on the board since the beginning of the organization!
The highlight of the retreat was the guest speaker, Kristen, a survivor of teen dating violence. Kristen shared her very personal story and the details of being abused - physically, mentally and verbally by her high school boyfriend. Her ability to connect to the audience was wonderful. She provided details that made you feel like you were there. I think we all wanted to kill the guy by the end of her story. Kristen shares her story with the junior high students during a presentation that MAAV does on preventing bullying and dating violence. I've heard that she is great with the kids and sucks them in from the beginning.
Seeing Kristen now, 20 years later, is amazing. She is a strong woman, wife, mother and more. She has survived what happen to her and she has turned her negative experience into something positive by sharing her story with others. I'm thankful to her for her bravery. By her sharing her story I have a better understanding of dating violence and what it does to a person.
I'm really excited to be involved with this organization and learn more about domestic violence so that in turn I can help my patients at the hospital. MAAV has two annual events - a walk in October which is DV awareness month and a run on Mother's Day. They also do a lot of trainings and small events throughout the year. One thing they are doing this fall is a "book club" sort of thing. We will choose a book (very soon) and publicize it in the community and encourage people all over town to read it. Then in Oct we will host a night at the library when we talk more about the book. The book needs to be about domestic violence, teen dating violence, bullying, etc. Here are the suggestions I have so far:
Letters To A Bullied Girl by Olivia Gardner
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Please let a comment if you have other suggestions. We are looking for fiction or a memoir and need to pick a book very soon. Thanks!!!