XENIA — The group 100-Plus Women Making a Difference in Greene County presented $11,800 to Family Violence Prevention Center June 7 to directly impact its Safe Dates program.
Members of 100-Plus Women each wrote a $100 check after their meeting April 23, where they selected FVPC as their charity for the quarter.
Safe Dates is an evidence-based teen dating violence prevention program. Ohio House Bill 10, the Tina Crocher Act, requires school districts to provide teen dating violence education to students, an unfunded mandate.
“Family Violence Prevention Center is so pleased to have been selected by the 100 Women for this very generous gift,” FVPC Executive Director Debbie Matheson said. “We consider it a privilege to offer expert prevention services that support the school districts with this requirement.”
Cherie Dixon, FVPC prevention coordinator, is in Greene County schools almost every day of the school year, working Safe Dates into the curriculum for middle and high school students in all eight districts.
“It’s very important for Cherie to be there in the health classes, talking to students about real experiences, making decisions from the perspective of a domestic violence survivor … learning how difficult and complex domestic violence is,” Matheson said. “Cherie talks to students about personal violence in homes and relationships they develop. We learn to date in our teen years so it’s important to have conversations about this.”
Dixon teaches students about maintaining healthy relationships, respecting their bodies and using safe communication — like staying calm and asking questions.
“Safe Date is such an effective program that we even use it with adult clients here. Even adults here have said, ‘I wish I had this as a teen — I wouldn’t be here today,’ ” Dixon, who is also a counselor, said. “It’s not just helping kids; it’s helping parents.”
Student surveys also allows FVPC to measure how the program has impacted behavior, attitude and awareness about abuse and violence within close relationships.
Rebecca Morgann and Sandy McHugh founded the 100 Women organization in 2010. The women — now more than 100 of them — meet once a quarter and in under an hour: pick three names from a hat, listen to three members speak for five minutes about the charity they want to support, ask and answer questions, then vote.
Since 2010, the group has given more than $350,000 to local charities, always to benefit people in Greene County.
Members come from all over the county and surrounding communities.
“We are well-represented in the community. I think that’s one of the things that keeps us going strong,” Morgann said.