Archive for the ‘Start Strong Austin’ Category

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.

Social Media Intern Position: SafePlace (Start Strong Austin)

This new and creative internship position is open to high school and college students with an interest in social activism and social media.

SafePlace exists to end sexual and domestic violence through safety, healing, prevention and social change. SafePlace’s Expect Respect Program promotes healthy teen relationships and prevents dating and sexual violence among youth. We are proud to be one of 11 communities nationwide participating in the National Start Strong Initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This initiative engages community partners, strengthens youth leadership and utilizes innovative media strategies to build healthy teen relationships. Visit us at


Do you have a love of blogging and social media? Do you want to use those skills to help spread the word about healthy relationships, and put an end to teen dating violence?

  • Spread the Word: Increase awareness of SafePlace and its Expect Respect Program as a resource for preventing dating and sexual violence among teens.
  • Share With your Friends: Help us grow our facebook                                            (  and twitter (, find fans and followers and create buzz!
  • Become a Blogger: Find content that relates to our mission and share it with the world. Create video blogs and written blogs to post weekly on the web. Check out our blog at


  • Enthusiasm and passion for the mission of SafePlace and goals of the Start Strong Austin initiative
  • Interest in social media, marketing, online campaigns, blogging, and PR, experience preferred
  • Organized, responsible, detail oriented, and dedicated
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office, web publishing tools, and internet research skills
  • Ability to juggle multiple tasks under deadlines
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in written format with staff, media, and external partners.
  • Previous work experience preferred
  • Commitment to work 8-10 hours per week


Start Date: Immediately. Internship to continue for 3 months from hire date.
Location: Austin,.TX

Stipend: $150 per month.

If interested in applying, please submit cover letter and resume to:

Start Strong Austin is a collaboration of school and community partners working together to promote safe and healthy teen relationships and prevent teen dating abuse. Austin is one of 11 sites in the United States participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation‘s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationship Initiative.  Through this community-wide effort we are engaging community partners, strengthening youth leadership and utilizing innovative media strategies to build healthy teen relationships.

Teen Dating Violence is a Serious Public Health problem: The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that one out of ten students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. Teen dating violence increases teens’ risk for physical, emotional and mental health problems including drug and alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, depression and anxiety and dropping out of school.

Start Strong is committed to prevention: There is a strong connection between our overall health and how we live, work, learn and love. This four-year initiative is mobilizing entire communities to create environments for youth that teach, model and support healthy relationships and prevent violence before it starts.

Teens are taking a lead to end violence and abuse in dating relationships: Teens want to be part of the solution and Start Strong is empowering them with the knowledge and skills to lead efforts to prevent dating violence in their communities.

Hot Topic: SEXTING!

Posted: January 21, 2010 in Start Strong Austin

What is “sexting?”

Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos (i.e.: nude, semi-nude, or otherwise sexual in nature) electronically, primarily between cell phones.

Did you know…?

  • It is illegal to take sexual photos of youth and a crime to pass them on.
  • 20% of teens (ages 13-19) report having sent or posted nude or semi‐nude pictures or videos of themselves.
  • 48% of teens report they have receiving sexually explicit messages.


What do you think…?

Posted: December 29, 2009 in Start Strong Austin


Alyssa is a sophomore. About three weeks ago, she met a guy on-line and they really “clicked.” After a while, he convinced her to send him pictures of herself without her shirt on. She felt uncomfortable, but did it anyway because she was afraid she would lose him if she didn’t.

A few days later, he tried to get her to meet him face-to-face alone at his house, but Alyssa told him she was not ready for that. He got angry at her and broke up.

The next day, Alyssa discovered that the photos she sent to him had been broadcast all over the school through people’s cell phones and MySpace pages. Her peers began to tease her, reject her, and call her names. Alyssa feels like she will never be able to put this incident behind her.


  • What advice would you give Alyssa?
  • How could this situation have gone differently?
  • Have you or someone you know even experienced something similar?

Post your comments below.