AHA PowerBack Club Raises Awareness

March, 2015 

Students at The Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest raised awareness about the issue of teen dating violence during the week of February 10th, which was National Teen Dating Violence Prevention Week. Students from the school’s PowerBack Club organized a campaign to educate their peers on teen dating abuse, its warning signs and consequences, and ways to confront it effectively. The girls made morning announcements over the school’s PA system and distributed orange lanyards in all of the homerooms to bring attention to this serious topic. PowerBack is a free, unique and comprehensive dating abuse awareness and prevention program operated by A Partnership for Change (APFC). It gives young people the "power back" to help themselves, their classmates or loved ones through monthly educational meetings where they learn to become certified peer leaders. Students are taught how to identify the various types of abuse (physical, verbal, emotional and sexual), how to respond appropriately and where to go for support. PowerBack also includes school-wide assemblies to reach all students, and educational workshops for faculty, staff, parents and guardians. The most important message, according to AHA School Social Worker S. Mary Foley SSND, is that the students learn that abuse is never the fault of the victim and there are many resources available to help. APFC is able to offer PowerBack to three high schools per year in New Jersey.


Power Back Club 

Photo: Sitting: Elizabeth Saccoliti (Leonia), Jenna Piccinich (Palisades Park), Iris Knowles (Clifton), Jill Canavari (Clifton) and Christina Careri (Palisades Park). Standing are Aprile Bertomo (Bergenfield), Isabelle Shea (Glen Rock), MaryElena Bafundo (River Vale), Kathleen Miceli (River Edge) and Veronique Dhont (Englewood). 

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Jennifer Crusco
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