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Sturgis Teen creates musical message to peers through an Independence House Call-To-Action during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

IND-HOUSE-logo.jpgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Donna Giberti,
Director of Development and Marketing
Independence House, Inc.
508-771-6507 x221, Fax  508-778-0143 donnag@indhouse.net.

April 1, 2017, Hyannis, MA – A musically talented high school student combined his skills at song writing, singing and playing multiple instruments to compose and produce a heart-felt music video performance carrying an important message to his peers about respect in relationships.  David Girardin, a junior at Sturgis Public Charter School in Hyannis responded to Independence House’s “Let Your Voice Be Heard” call-to-action during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month offering high school students the opportunity to create positive messages through music about preventing dating violence.

 The song, titled “We are the Change” addresses abuse in dating relationships. In David’s use of a metaphor about an angel, his message of power and control over another in a relationship as harmful is powerful. Other lyrics make the message more direct when he sings, “No Means No and Yes Means Yes, why is there a disconnect?” and “Love’s only love when there’s respect,” and “We need to change we’ve made the first step.”

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month occurs each February and is nationally recognized as a time to talk about, and take action about the level of dating violence among high school adolescents.  In statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention taken from a recent survey, 1 in 10 teens reported being hit or physically hurt on purpose by their dating partner at least once in the 12 months before they took the survey.  LoveisRespect.org reports that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year, and 1 in 3 adolescents is a victim of not only physical, but also sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from their dating partner.

Independence House Executive Director, Lysetta Hurge-Putnam expresses, “We are so impressed with David’s recording which is an excellent action on his part to directly and immediately speak to his peer group about a taboo topic, which is the significant problem of adolescent relationship violence. It is truly inspiring that David and many other young people are activating an important movement towards a cultural shift where our cultural norms challenge violence and abuse in relationships and empower young women and men to claim the right to be involved in healthy, happy, safe and respectful relationships.”

Independence House will present David with a recording studio session sponsored by Seasound Recording Studios in Plymouth to professionally record this important and exceptional musical message.   David’s video compilation of “We are the Change” will remain as part of the Independence House YouTube channel playlist at  https://youtu.be/0BPhiBdF3ds and be featured on both Independencehouse.org and Independencehouseteens.org websites.

Independence House offers counseling, advocacy and assistance for teenagers who are experiencing violence in, or questioning their dating relationships. Online confidential teen support is available at independencehouseteens.org, through direct text at 508.375.5144 or the 24 hour hotline at 800.439.6507. Independence House also partners with students across Cape Cod on primary prevention strategies that promote safe and healthy relationships by facilitating the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) curriculum in nine Cape Cod high schools. The curriculum includes education on teen abuse, how to spot warning signs, and how to be an active bystander. As part of the “Game Change” partnership with the Attorney General’s (AG) Office and The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Independence House participates in an in-depth training for staff, parents and administrators from 30 high schools across the State.