Donna Bartos, Executive Director and Founder of Bloom365, describes Bloom as a program working to prevent teen dating abuse before it starts. The organization takes the program to schools across the Valley and presents a comprehensive seven day program teaching teens how to recognize the warning signs of an abusive relationship. The program helps them understand what a healthy relationship is and builds skills for relationships. The program also provides resources for teens in abusive relationships to get help. There is a follow up program at the school providing mentorship for teens who want to change the culture around them by establishing Bloom365 clubs at their school.
Retired judge and host of Divorce Court, Judge Lynn Toler says she is overwhelmed by the vision and enthusiasm Donna Bartos has for changing the way domestic violence is approached in the US. As a judge Toler saw many cases of domestic violence and notes by the time the cases got to her it was too little, too late. She knew and understood that prevention was the key to changing the hearts and minds of a generation of people. Bartos is doing just that; going to schools and changing how power, love and relationships are being defined.
Bartos reports 80% of teens will tell another teen if abuse is going on in their relationships before they will tell and adult. It is important to empower teens and provide them with information to give them the confidence to help a friend going through an abusive relationship.
When Bloom365 goes to a school for seven days, attitudes are changed and knowledge is gained. With that happening Bartos thinks safer and healthier relationships will happen, along with safer homes and overall safer communities.
For information about Bloom365 and how to get involved visit gopurple.org