Is It Too Late?

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Hanna Munin

It would be great if we all realized our mistakes right when they are happening, but it rarely works that way. We often don’t pay attention to unhealthy behaviors in ourselves or our partner until after the relationship has ended. So what could you do when you’re still in the relationship?

1. It’s important to evaluate your behaviors. Did you make an unhealthy decision? When you learn that a past behavior you exhibited in a relationship was unhealthy, it’s important to then determine a different behavior that would have been healthy, so you can try to do that next time.
2. Do you have triggers or things that happen in relationships that really set you off? One thing that can help in these situations is to identify the trigger point. What was it that made act out in the way you shouldn’t have? You can try to figure this out by journaling. By writing about your day, you can look for the things that made you angry or jealous and resulted in your acting in order to learn what your breaking point is.
3. What can you do to prevent yourself from acting out in the future? Find new ways to release emotions that were building up inside of you when you chose the unhealthy behavior. Sometimes, we act out instead of just sharing what we were thinking or feeling. We can avoid a lot of conflicts by sharing our experience when it’s happening.
This process is easier said than done, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid regrets. To get the ball rolling, it can always help to look over resources that educate about healthy relationships. One helpful resource is Loveisrespect, the National Dating Abuse Helpline:



PSAs in Everyday Life?

Posted: October 12, 2012 in Start Strong Austin

By Hanna Munin

Over the past couple of months, I have spent a lot of time of Hulu trying to get caught up on all the shows that are about to start back up. I can’t even begin to describe how annoying it is to have to watch one pointless advertisement over and over again. Because I can’t fast forward past it, I just have to suffer through it until the TV show I was watching comes back on. One time, instead of an advertisement, there was a PSA (public service announcement) from that showed examples of digital abuse in teen relationships. (If you haven’t seen it, watch it if you want to see an accurate portrayal of abuse: Because of my line of work, I get really excited whenever issues related to healthy relationships are in the media for more people to get a grasp of, so naturally, having a healthy relationship PSA on Hulu got me really excited.
Abusive relationships are a major problem in our society. One in three teens will experience an abusive relationship. The odds are too high and not enough is being done in schools and the media to educate teens on what a healthy relationship is and how to handle abuse in relationships correctly. By having PSAs, instead of the unavoidable commercials on sites like Hulu, teens, parents, and teachers can briefly learn elements of unhealthy relationships. The benefit of showing a PSA about abusive relationships, instead of an ad for a store, is that the viewers actually have a chance to learn something. A teen could be on the commercial break of the new episode of Pretty Little Liars, see the PSA, and then start to think “Wow. My friend Gabriel is always being controlling like that to his girlfriend. That’s not right. Something needs to be done about that.”

Having PSAs on websites could give teens the tools to become advocates about healthy relationships by letting them know the ways to identify unhealthy behaviors and about organizations they can go to for help. Then, they can go to their friends with information about what they can do to address the problem.
Personally, I think that if PSAs that address unhealthy behaviors in relationships were more prevalent online and on television, abusive relationships would be less frequent. Think about it: if everyone that is watching TV saw that advertisement, they would learn about one more form of dating abuse and learn where to go to get help. That would have to make some sort of a difference, right? Kudos to for going mainstream with the PSA. Hopefully, more and more PSAs will come out through prevalent media sources for teens to access.

Changing Lives Auditions!

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


Join us for auditions  for the 2012-13 ensemble on Thursday, August 30th from 7-9pm at the Trinity United Methodist Church! Please text to reserve your spot.

The HMAP Challenge:

Posted: June 25, 2012 in Uncategorized
HMAP Icon.JPGThe HMAP Challenge:
Don’t we all love lending our support to a valuable cause? As a Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) Ally, SafePlace has done just that through the social media world.
But HMAP is more than Facebook posts and Tweets advocating the idea of healthy masculinity—it’s about starting a necessary conversation in society and making a difference. And despite the great advantages and global connections social media provide, we can’t forget about the power of direct, one-on-one communication.
That’s why SafePlace is encouraging you to take the Healthy Masculinity Challenge. All you have to do is talk to two people about healthy masculinity. It’s a conversation we should all be having, and a great way to prepare for the Healthy Masculinity Summit, October 17–19, in Washington, D.C.
Have you ever seen one of those model ships built from toothpicks? Looking at it, you’re amazed that hundreds of thousands of little pieces of wood have been joined together to create this magnificent object.
The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is like one of those ships. It’s going to take a lot of organizations joining together to create it. That’s why Safe Place is a HMAP Ally and why all the HMAP Allies are so important.
What Role Do the HMAP Allies Play?
HMAP is building a new generation of male leaders who will model non-violent, emotionally healthy masculinity and serve as positive change makers in society – helping to take their communities from awareness to action.
The HMAP organizing partners – Men Can Stop Rape, National Resource Center on Domestic ViolenceMen Stopping ViolenceCoach for AmericaWomen of Color Network, and A CALL TO MEN – regularly share information about healthy masculinity and HMAP with their national networks. HMAP Allies do the same.
Check Out the HMAP Allies!
From counselors to fraternities to prevention educators, the HMAP Allies are extending the reach of HMAP. The number of allies is growing every week. Check out who we are.
Start talking about healthy masculinity. Ultimately, it will take everyone for HMAP to be a success.
The Healthy Masculinity Summit will kick off HMAP this October.

By Hanna Munin

 May is nearly done and  it’s starting to get hot outside: this can only mean one thing, summer! Summer vacation is a time to relax and have fun whether that means staying up late every night with friends or traveling around the world. A lot of the times, the start of summer brings up a lot of questions for relationships. For example, should we take a break for the summer? If a partner goes off to camp, can they be trusted? Lots of questions like this arise and there are several ways to approach these questions and ensure that you have a safe, fun, and happy summer vacation,
    There are lots of reasons for why a relationship may want to be put on hold for the summer. For example, let’s say that you are going to camp this summer for a month and you are not allowed to have a cell phone or have visitors on the weekend. This makes it difficult to stay in contact with a partner and nearly impossible to get closer to each other during this time. A concern may arise that you or your partner may be tempted to date someone else during the summer since the two of you will not be together. When a relationship is early enough, it might just be easier to take a break for the summer. This is not to say that if you are going to be gone for the summer, you should absolutely end a relationship. If you feel that you are your partner trust each other enough and have enough faith in each other that neither of you are going to see someone else, then there is no need to put the relationship on hold for the next three months. This is simply a possibility that if you are afraid that things might become too difficult if neither of you are going to be with each other for the summer, it can be a simple solution to take a break.
    Inevitably, there is always the hope of finding a summer love. It can be easy to meet someone and take a liking to them during these next three months. These flings can bring a sense of happiness to someone. However it is important to not fall too deep too fast. It is important to think with your brain and not just your heart. When things go too quickly in a relationship, there comes the possibility for problems to pop up.
    So overall, what am I trying to get at? Summer is a time to be fun and happy. It can be helpful during this time to eliminate unnecessary stress by maybe putting a relationship on hold or trying to remember to use your brain when it comes to summer loves. Summer is a time to be free, but not necessarily to be careless. Remember that you have a fragile heart, it needs tender love and care. Be cute! Be sweet! Most importantly, have fun! Summer is a time to play and laugh in the sun and do things that you would not be able to do when school is in session.

Posted on May 23, 2012 by Theatre Action Project

Theatre Action Project’s 5th annual Youth Arts Festival was held Saturday, May 12th at the Boyd Vance Theatre at the George Washington Carver Museum. The festival featured work by more than 100 students from 12 middle schools in 4 school districts from the Austin area.  Here’s a sampling of some of the youth art work and performances featured this year.

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Left to right: Del Valle MS Film Club, Display Art of the Zapotec Indians by Ojeda MS, Youth Arts Festival host Lina Green of Changing Lives Youth Ensemble , Boo the Tiger  artwork by Sayi Ramirez, 7th grade, Ojeda MS

Left: Del Valle Middle School’s “Voices”  Right: Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble’s “Outside the Box”- with Lina Green and Aaron Michael Owens-Crain

Left: Stars of the Future mural painted by Dobie Middle School
Right: 1000 Cranes for Luis, a tribute film to Luis Flores, by Ojeda Middle School