Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Evergreen Project and the Fight To End Domestic Violence

The Evergreen Project Logo. Design by T. Lewis,
Copyright T. Lewis/The Evergreen Project 2014
I have talked about Chandler on this blog before. Mostly about how wonderful of a boyfriend he is. But I never mentioned that he has gone out and added something to this world that makes it a little bit better and has made me the proudest friend ever.

In Chandler's sophomore year at the University of Washington, he and ten others created The Evergreen Project, "with the intent of raising awareness about domestic violence both in our community and our society". With a goal to raise awareness, educate and help victims and their families, The Evergreen Project has quickly become my favorite organization.

Speaking as a survivor of child abuse and a first hand witness to domestic violence, this is a resource that is sorely needed by victims. Because as bad as it sounds, many victims don't actually know that they are involved in something dangerous, or if they do know, justify the abuse in some way. When a relationship starts out rough and continues to be rough, it is hard to distinguish abuse from normalcy, especially since not a lot of domestic abuse educational systems are in place. What the Evergreen Project provides is readily available information and help for those in crisis.

"Hopefully by making the topics accessible and on the level of those we seek to educate we can help to reduce this epidemic that effects 1/3 of all teen relationships" Lewis says. "I hope to educate people about relationship violence by bringing the conversation to them about how to recognize warning signs and what you can do to help maintain healthy relationships". In this day and age, a lesson on recognizing abusive relationships is sadly, a necessity.
Founder Chandler Lewis appeared in
"The UW Daily" to promote The Evergreen Project.
Photo courtesy of Chandler Lewis/Instagram

In the wake of the Ray Rice incident, domestic violence and the consequences of it have suddenly captured America's attention in a way unseen until now. The conversation about abuse has been started, and helped along by organizations such as The Evergreen Project and loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. Trending topics on Twitter like #WhyIStayed are showing the world that even though victims sometimes KNOW that they are being abused, they believe that they somehow deserve it, or no one else will love them, or their religion prohibits leaving their partner. Educating people early could save them from becoming another victim, another statistic, another Janay Palmer.

So thank you, Chandler, for tackling a very important issue and making the world a better, safer place.

For more information on the Evergreen Project, check out their Facebook or visit their website.

Alexis Olmstead is a 21! year old diva who hopes to create a blog so profound, popular, and relevant, that she eventually gets famous for being eloquent and opinionated. 


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