State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Gender-Based Violence Prevention for Teens and Young Adults

Episode #33: Gender-based violence involves acts of violence committed against women, men, boys and girls  as a result of social norms about roles and behavior expected of each gender. This umbrella term includes the more familiar descriptors of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and dating violence and is an extensive problem across our country and around the world. Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and one in every three girls in the US is a victim of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. Teens and young adults are particularly vulnerable to dating violence, and all forms of gender-based violence are rampant on college campuses. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified the problem and led to a rising number of crisis line calls and requests for services. Right here in Santa Cruz County, four women were killed in domestic violence homicides in 2020. In the same year, calls to a local domestic violence hotline more than tripled and one service provider reports a 75% increase in the requests for domestic violence services like as counseling, emergency shelter, emergency financial aid, transportation and support groups.

For survivors of gender-based violence, the mental health impacts are often substantial and can include PTSD, depression, anxiety, substance misuse, self-harm, suicidal behavior, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, survivors often face stigma and rejection from community and family. Join us to learn more about gender-based violence prevention and support as we talk with two Walnut Center Family & Women’s Center educator-advocates as well as a survivor and hotline volunteer. You will learn tips for prevention and how and where to seek support. Listen to this show with a teen or young adult in your life and you’ll be helping them be more aware and prepared to stop and prevent such violence.

Broadcast: 8/1/21

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production and to Jennifer Young for  research and outreach. And finally, thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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Local Support
Live Oak Community Resource Center – Offers parenting support, counseling for individuals and families, and homework help for youth in the Live Oak/Soquel area.

Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center (WAFWC) in 2015 updated their name to highlight their dedication to serving entire families. All support services are No-Cost, Confidential, Gender-Inclusive, Intersectional, LGBTQ+ affirming, and in English, Spanish, or both (other accommodations are also available). 831-426-3062

Services for Children & Youth at WAFWC

Warriors Youth Group  (Ages 12-18)  safe space to build self-esteem, healthy relationships, and problem-solving skills through fun workshops, games, and discussion; drop-in meets weekly

One-on-One Mentoring Teens (Ages 12-19) safe, fun way support to build resiliency in young people

Preventative Education for pre-teens, teens, & young adults interested in learning about healthy relationships). No need for parental consent to participate.

Healthy Relationships & Life Skills Workshop  All ages. All genders. Age appropriate. Youth prevention specialists come with info, resources, and activities on fostering healthy relationships and essential life skills through workshops, presentations, tabling, speaking, consultation; hour or less;

A Window Between Worlds Trauma-informed art workshops. All ages. All genders. Safe environment to share their stories, build resilience, identify emotions, self-regulate, gain a stronger sense of self-worth

Dating Matters Ages 11-17 (middle & high school). All genders. CDC: “Research shows that supporting healthy emotional development can prevent a variety of negative outcomes, including teen dating violence …and healthy relationship attitudes and behaviors start developing early.”

Dating Matters for Educators and Parents how to talk about safety and respect you deserve in all relationships (friends, teachers, employers, dates, etc.)

The Art of Violence Prevention presented evidence-based info on healthy/unhealthy relationships to over 150 students from local high schools. Student art show

Community Education at WAFWC:

Presentations:  practical knowledge and skill implementation tailored to meet needs of organization. Examples: general DV information, DV in the workplace, healthy relationships for teens, and how to be an ally to survivors.

Staff Cross-Training: 

Tabling:  Youth fairs, Pride week, health fairs

Speakers and Panels: Topic examples:  Domestic Violence, healthy families and child development, reproductive rights, prison abolition, human rights, anti-racism, healthcare, nonprofit coalitions, avenues of social justice

Consultations: Advocates can offer customized advice, support, information, and resources.

Customized Workshops for Supplemental Classroom/After-School Learning.  All ages and genders. Research-supported presentations/workshops can dovetail with current learning plan in Sociology, History, Social Studies, English, Literature, Health, and P.E.

Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence at WAFWC:

Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline: 1 (866) 2MY ALLY or 1 (866) 269-2559

Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center‘s 24/7 hotline offers crisis intervention, emotional support, resources, referrals, and safety-planning for survivors and their allies.

Peer Advocacy:  One-on-One with trained Domestic Violence Advocates

Legal Advocacy

Temporary Accommodations:  Emergency, Short-Term, Off-stie

Housing & Employment Support:  Case management for social services, employment, work and credit histories

Survivor Support groups: drop-in, childcare for attendees

Kids Group  (Ages 0-11) trained volunteers provide a safe place for kids of participants

Internships and Certified Advocate for Survivors of Domestic Violence Family Support Services – addresses basic needs with supplemental food, clothing and household support

Early Education Center: Infant Center and Early Education Center (preschoolers); for low-income families working or enrolled in training programs, high school, or college; children through CPS; and limited spaces for full-fee-paying community members

Associated ProgramsAfrican American Community Health Project:  education, support, advocacy, and leadership

Family Service Agency (FSA) of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind. FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children.  FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds.  FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi-Cal, Medicare, and low-cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831-423-9444 x200 and in Soquel 831-346-6767 x200.

Encompass TAY (Transition Age Youth) program: serves current and former foster youth and homeless youth in Santa Cruz County.

Perinatal Mental Health Coalition – a resource for new parents, mothers, and birthing parents in Santa Cruz who are experiencing mental health issues such as post-partum depression and anxiety. Healthy children begin with healthy adults!

The Diversity Center Transgender and Non-Binary Support Group – a peer support group for genderqueer individuals that focus on lifting the transgender and non-binary community and discussing shared experiences.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 857 624 696
Password: TDC

Crisis Support
California Youth Crisis Line Free confidential support line available via phone, chat, and text for California youth ages 12-24 and for adults supporting youth. Crisis line is able to provide emotional support and resources for youth/youth allies. Available 24/7..

Teen Line Crisis Hotline – Free confidential support available to youth from trained peer counselors from 6-10 PM (PST) nightly at 800-TLC-TEEN. Youth are also able to text or email teens from 6-9 PM (PST).

Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube – a free YouTube channel with calming videos tutorials for yoga. An easy and free way to do yoga in your own home. Our guest Natt says, “Yoga really helped him own his body again.”

More Information
Video of Dr. Bruce Perry’s “Three R’s” – how to help regulate a child having a meltdown. Especially helpful for children who have experienced trauma, but useful for all parents and adults to have in their back pocket. Here is a pdf explaining Dr. Perry’s regulation ideas.

Love Is Respect –  a resource for teenagers and young adults to explore the spectrum of healthy and unhealthy relationships (and answers questions like “should we break up?” “Is this abuse?” and “how do I help my friend?”)

Increased Domestic Violence and Femicide in Santa Cruz County:  A Pandemic within a Pandemic, Blog post by Delphine Burns, Monarch Services,  Jul 22, 2021.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) – the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

National Sexual Assault Hotline. Free. Confidential. 24/7.
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or Live Chat at

YWCA– Gender Based Violence Facts published September, 2017