Part IV: Summing up Time to Talk day

Monday, December 7, 2009

There are a few other people and organizations I wanted to talk about before I close this educational and incredibly inspirational chapter of my blog.

I was lucky enough to get more than a few minutes with someone I have great respect for, Dr. Jill Murray. Dr. Murray has become the leading expert on the subject of teen dating abuse in the U.S. and Canada. She has appeared on more than 350 television shows—including twice on Oprah, 20/20, and Montel, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, and several CNN shows—speaking as the guest expert in the field, as well as more than 300 radio talk shows. She has been interviewed by more than 250 newspapers and national magazines. I've seen her on TV a few times, so when I heard I had a chance to talk to her, I jumped on it. When she walked over, she instantly had a calming effect on me. She literally radiates positivity. You feel like Dr. Jill knows you the second she opens her mouth. I can see why she is the relationship expert! Dr. Jill and I talked about the foundations of abuse; the role parenting plays in raising kids up into good adults, and taking control of out of control relationships, and learning to say enough.
"Abusers justify what they do. 'I had to do this because you did that.' Thats how they live. Abusers are entitled. They are self serving. They live in denial, " she explains when I asked why abuse goes on in homes for years and years before anything changes. " I believe all abusers come from some sort of abuse. Whether there was abuse in their household, drug and alcohol abuse, or someone who was telling the kid, you are stupid, you are nothing.... it comes from somewhere. I think its a conscious decision. I think they know what they are doing. They transfer their anger onto other people. Where does the entitlement come from? Where does someone think its ok to smack a girl? Its that sense of entitlement."
We went on to discuss what is accepted and not accepted in households, and why. Dr. Murray is a huge proponent of being your child's PARENT and not their buddy, something I am also a huge advocate for. The relationships your children grow up to have with other people are modeled on your behavior as a parent. very interesting stuff.
Dr. Jill Murray has a great book out called BUT I LOVE HIM—Protecting Your Teen Daughter From Controlling, Abusive, Dating Relationships which came out in 2001, but still pertains to parenting today. Also a good read on this subject, Dr. Jill is the author of the more recent But He Never Hit Me: The Devastating Cost of Non-Physical Abuse to Girls and Women. These are both books I would recommend putting in your parenting library especially if you have girls in your household. to learn more about Jill Murray and where you may get in touch with her or hear her speak, check out her website at

This event was in conjunction with MADE. As part of their ongoing efforts to combat domestic violence, Liz Claiborne Inc. launched MADE: Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse. MADE is a growing coalition of parents, teachers and ANYONE who is advocating for teen dating abuse education in every middle school and high school in the country. MADE was inspired by dedicated and courageous parents whose children were victims of teen dating abuse and violence, and who want to ensure that no one else’s child becomes a victim.

Liz Claiborne Inc. recognized the role of parents in teen relationships, and the importance of education and resources made available to our youth. MADE was launched in December, 2008 to ensure a teen dating violence curriculum is mandated in every middle and high school in the country. To date, thousands of dedicated people have joined this growing national grassroots movement.

MADE has partnered with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) to introduce legislation for teen dating violence education in middle and high schools across the country. Both associations have passed national resolutions and continue to work with Liz Claiborne Inc. and MADE members on their efforts.

How YOU Can Help:

Anyone who cares about teen dating violence can join MADE. Join MADE by simply going online at Once you become a MADE member you can help end teen dating abuse by:

· Recruiting as many MADE members as you can in your community. Contact your local officials and prominent community members, as well other parents, friends, colleagues and neighbors who can get involved in building the MADE movement.
· Contacting your local middle and high schools to engage teachers, principals, and school administrators in MADE’s education efforts. Encourage them to introduce teen dating violence education, such as the Love Is Not Abuse curriculum, provided by Liz Claiborne Inc. free-of-charge.
· Utilizing the MADE tool kit, available on the MADE website to send letters to your local policymakers supporting legislation on teen dating abuse education.

To learn more about MADE, visit:
DISCLAIMER: “I received a $50 Juicy Couture gift card in conjunction with participating in Liz Claiborne’s “It’s Time To Talk” day.”