The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) just announced that Blue Shield of California Foundation and the Family Violence Prevention Fund will join with RWJF to help communities combat and control teen dating violence. The initiative called Start Strong targets kids aged 11 to 14 and the budget is big -- $18 million. However, this budget will be divided between 11 communities in the country.
If this sounds somewhat familiar it may be because you read my Society & Health post a few months back on the Teen Dating Violence Forum that was held by the Boston Public Health Commission (remember the Rihanna/Chris Brown event that put dating and intimate partner violence in the fore front of everyone's minds?).
Boston will be one of the communities funded for this initiative. And boy do we need it! I think every shooting and stabbing I hear about in this city (and I hear about it way too much...) is either gang-related or a case of intimate partner violence. I know...I should be scientific about this, but you can check out the stats at the BPHC website if you are interested.
The leadership of Start Strong in Boston seem up to the challenge before them. I am excited to see what kind of impact it has on the city and among young people. Maybe it will affect the same kids who hit me with an egg while I was riding home from work this week. (I had to throw that in there...true story.)