On Wednesday, March 1st, The Block Center hosted Don’t Block the Truth: Take a Stand Against Teen Dating Violence at the Troy Boys and Girls Club. Unity House, Inc.’s Domestic Violence Program, Samaritan Hospital’s Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Program, and Troy High School’s WAVE club provided workshops and resources for interested community members.
Notable speakers included Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel E. Abelove, who shared his professional experiences and urged victims to seek out help, and hip-hop artist Var Da Allstar, a native of Albany, who shared the story of his family’s tragic experience with domestic violence which took his sister’s life, who encouraged attendees to take the issue seriously in their own lives and communities.
Event participants took part in five workshops stationed around the gymnasium. “Boundaries and Consent” was presented by Samaritan Hospital SACVAP, “Positive Teen Sexual Health” by Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, “Youth as Activists” and “The Intersection of Teen Domestic Violence and LGBTQ” by Troy High School WAVE, and “Men as Allies,” by The Block Center.
Event organizer Sarah McGaughnea, High Risk Project Coordinator at Unity House Domestic Violence, declared the event a success and shared that the organizations involved plan to meet quarterly to organize further events and partner to engage Troy area youth in the effort to stop domestic violence.
Individuals in the Troy area looking for services related to domestic violence, or education about DV, healthy relationships, sexual health, or youth-related issues, are encouraged to contact these participating organizations:
Unity House Domestic Violence Program: http://www.unityhouseny.org/services/domestic-violence-services/
Samaritan Hospital Sexual Assault Crime Victims Program: https://www.nehealth.com/Medical_Care/SAM/Sexual_Assault_Center/
The Block Center: https://theblockcentertroy.com/