Businesses urged to join fight against teen dating violence


Businesses urged to join fight against teen dating violence

By Elizabeth Geldermann, of SBT

Cori Gour is calling on her fellow business owners in southeastern Wisconsin to rally for a social cause. In her vigilance and determination to spread teen dating violence awareness to the Milwaukee area, Gour and the Dating Shouldn’t Hurt campaign will bring Dr. Jill Murray to Milwaukee to spread the word.
Murray, a psychotherapist, author and traveling lecturer on the topic of abusive teen relationships, will be at the Four Points by Sheraton Milwaukee Airport Hotel on May 5 to discuss her book, "But I Love Him, Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships."
"My hope is that parents, students, friends, relatives buy the book and take it back to their networks," Gour said. "Hold book groups. Church groups and human resource directors could put an excerpt in their newsletters; send representatives to the community event, etc. Awareness is the key to helping young people choose healthier dating relationships."
Gour is the general manager for Merry Maids in the Milwaukee area and the committee chair for the Murray event. She said only after reading Murray’s book did she realize an abusive relationship she had in high school was rooted in the need for control.
"I initiated this event because I feel so strongly that so many young women get involved with young men who are controlling, and they struggle with trying to understand the dynamics at play," Gour said. "Dr. Jill Murray’s message is so compelling because she helps anyone understand that there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy dating."
According to Murray, one in three young women will be in a controlling, abusive relationship by the time they graduate from high school.
Dating Shouldn’t Hurt is for parents, teens and teachers to help detect the warning signs of an abusive relationship and how to prevent it or talk to the teen about leaving the relationship.
The event is open to the public and is the second Milwaukee session of Dating Shouldn’t Hurt: An Educational Forum on Teen Dating Violence and Abusive Relationships. Kicked off by Naomi Judd on March 23, Dating Shouldn’t Hurt is a campaign composed of three local agencies working together. Gour said the Milwaukee Women’s Center, the Task Force on Family Violence and the Sojourner Truth House, along with Verizon Wireless have joined forces to launch the teen dating violence awareness campaign.
Gour said the speaker series will culminate in October as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Murray is also scheduled to speak at four local high schools during her Milwaukee visit.
"Parents and young people need to educate themselves about the warning signs of a controlling, potentially abusive relationship and what it looks like," Gour said. "Friends need to know how to talk about this issue if someone they care about may be involved in a relationship like this. Parents need to learn how to have a conversation with their teen about potential violence in dating."
For further information about the campaign, or to participate as a corporate sponsor, contact Gour at 414-817-1550.

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April 2, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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