Abuse highlight of youth workshop


Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 3:05 p.m.

Teens will have an opportunity to learn about domestic violence and substance abuse from experts and also victims willing to share their stories during the 2nd annual "The Journey of Dying for Love, Domestic Violence & Faith-Based Community Substance Abuse Prevention Health Model" for youth.

Facts

YOUTH WORKSHOP

What: The 2nd annual “The Journey of Dying for Love, Domestic Violence & Faith-Based Community Substance Abuse Prevention Health Model” for youth.
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 20.
Where: Bartley Temple United Methodist Church, 1936 NE 8th Ave.
Information: Call 352-375-8822.

And students attending the workshop will be able to earn community service points.

Vivian Haynes Tinker, president of the United Methodist Women at Bartley Temple United Methodist Church, said the program will adddress domestic violence and substance abuse, which are issues that go hand in hand. The program also concludes the 2nd annual workshop series held this summer.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 20 at Bartley Temple at 1936 NE 8th Ave. Casual attire is suggested and breakfast and lunch will be served.

High school students participating will receive 184 community service points and middle school students will receive 30 community service points.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in 2011, there were 111,680 domestic violence offenses in Florida and 1,499 in Alachua County. The issues of domestic violence and substance abuse can interact with and exacerbate each other and should be treated simultaneously, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

In addition, domestic violence frequently indicates high rates of alcohol and other drug use by perpetrators during abuse. Not only do batterers tend to abuse drugs and alcohol, but domestic violence also increases the probability that victims will use alcohol and drugs to cope with abuse.

"Our goal is to help break the cycle of abuse, neglect, harassment, substance abuse and interpersonal violence," said Haynes Tinker. "And to promote safe, respectful relationships."

The program will be offered in two sessions, with domestic violence, including teen dating, offered in the morning, followed by the substance abuse segment.

Haynes Tinker said the key presenter will be Francine Blackburn, aka Frankie Black, a motivational speaker from California who will share her story of how she lost a promising career as a singer, dancer and model due to alcohol and drug abuse. She now works on an oil rig and continues to pursue her musical career. Blackburn said she will debut her new CD, "A New Life," which reflects her positive outlook on life. "I was a victim and I almost died," Blackburn said. "But I survived and now I have a good life."

She said her program will be one of hope.

"There is a way of life without going the wrong path," Blackburn said, "It's important to look at the big picture and avoid making the wrong choices."

Haynes Tinker said other presenters will include Gainesville resident Latasha Holcy, the author of "In His Hand," an autobiography about her life and struggles as a victim of domestic abuse and how it affected her choices; Miami resident and motivational speaker Cleft Dickerson, who will talk about making the right choices, and Tracey Hickmon, coordinator of the rebuilding program for victims of domestic abuse at the Gainesville Police Department, who will present a program titled "Live the Life You Choose." Hickmon also will discuss the signs of an abuser and ways to avoid becoming a victim of domestic abuse.

Bonnie Burgess, a government operations consultant at Lancaster Correctional Institute in Trenton, which houses youthful offenders, will discuss domestic abuse and its correlation to substance abuse.

"While we all know that substance abuse does not cause domestic violence," Burgess said, "there is a statistical correlation between the two issues."

Other presenters will include the Rev. Janie Crawford, a minister at Showers of Blessings Harvest Center, who will talk about forgiveness in order to move on with your life and Gainesville comedian Tia Stover. There also will be a mock wedding to illustrate domestic violence.

And Haynes Tinker said there will be other surprise performances.

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