Domestic Violence Advocate, Social Activist, Consultant & Entertainment Producer

Posts tagged “teen dating violence

The Victory of a Former Teenage Mom: Courage Empowerment Forum Welcomes Author and Youth Mentor Summer Owens


About sixteen years ago, at the age of 15, Summer was just another “statistic”. Now sixteen years later, she is a woman who has beaten the odds. Teenage moms makes up about 11% of all births in the United States and many do not finish school. Summer Owens is the author of Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother, a personal story of her journey surviving and triumphing as a young mother, with tons of lessons and practical applications.

Although Summer was a teenage mother, there was something about her pregnancy that was atypical, and the assault on her life that caused her pregnancy left her frightened, embarrassed, ashamed and immensely confused. But as an over comer, Summer has chosen to take her experience and candidly reveal her life successfully to help all teenage moms.

A busy mom and a college graduate with two degrees herself, Summer is unstoppable. She is also a young woman’s mentor in her local community and travels around the country speaking to crowds about how to affectively help teenage moms.

Tune in Tuesday, July 26th at 9 PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific to, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY to hear Summer Owens, youth mentor and author of Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother .

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D.A.S.H. on Courage Empowerment Forum, Featuring the Music from O.P. Music House Exposure Concerts

On the February 22nd broadcast of Lyn Twyman’s Courage Empowerment Forum, featured guests are Lynne Russell, executive director, and John Murray of D.A.S.H (Dating Abuse Stops Here). Lynne lost her daughter Siobhan Russell, who was just 19 1/2 years old, to teen dating violence.  Lynne and John, who is Siobhan’s cousin, along with family and volunteers are carrying on her memory and helping to save lives through their organization D.A.S.H.

Featured music will be brought to us by talented independent artists who collaborate with Suzanne Perry’s OP Music House non-profit and her Exposure Concert to reach young people and raise awareness to domestic violence. Featured artists are Sharen Wendy Robertson, Mike Zogaria and L.W. Perry.

This program will be a tribute to all families who have lost children to dating violence.  Tune in live at 9pm ET, 6pm PT on February 22nd, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY.

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About Lynne Russell

Lynne is a native of London, England. She relocated to the USA in 2000 with her  husband and three young children, Siobhan, Jordan and Francesca. It was the tragic murder of her eldest daughter, Siobhan, that led Lynne, along with family and friends to create Dating Abuse Stops Here “DASH”.  Lynne is a graphic designer with experience in print, web, corporate identity and video graphics. She brings her vision and creativity to DASH. Since the launch of DASH in October 2010, on what would have been Siobhan’s 21st birthday, Lynne has been proactive in her community. She has given numerous presentations to teens and parents, attended a White House roundtable meeting addressing teen dating and sexual violence, and has organized community events to raise awareness of the prevalence of teen dating abuse.


About John Murray

John, also a native of London, England, has just graduated high school. John is heading to Bristol University, England in September. He will major in Russian and Politics. John is a confident and passionate speaker. Siobhan is his first cousin, and he is compelled to speak of the dangers of teen dating abuse in her memory. John draws upon his leadership and communication skills gained from being a Sergeant in the Combined Cadet Force in England.

Visit D.A.S.H. at




O.P. Music House

About Suzanne Perry

Suzanne Perry was plucked from society at the tender age of 17 by a controlling partner who would control, confine and torture her over the next 22 years.  Repeatedly convinced the abuse would leave, she left and returned 3 times to the relationship and then married. When given an ultimatum of “it’s him or me,” by their 16-year old daughter, Perry made up her mind.  The next beating session she had her husband arrested, and she and their daughter obtained permanent orders of protection.

Today, she is a public speaker, writer, hosts several radio and live music shows and a public access program targeted at promoting peace through music. She supports hundreds of men and women across the country through their experiences of abusive relationships.

Based on her belief that if abusers were exposed, they wouldn’t abuse, she created the ‘EXPOSURE Concert; because love shouldn’t hurt,’ a 3 day music fest which nearly 50 bands played, and streamed live around the world. It was viewed from 8 countries and 34 states, and has become annual.

In 2012, she will be touring the US with musicians, some of which are survivors, for the EXPOSURE tour, presenting her story during the day and hosting the musical events at night.


Featured Independent Artists are:

Sharen Wendy Robertson

Mike Zogaria

L.W. Perry

Shalanda Moten on Courage Empowerment Forum, Featuring the Music of Natalie Brown


February is National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Month.  Is your teenager safe with their dating partner?  How well do you know who they are dating?  Do you know even know that they are dating?  According to a study from 2006, about one in 11 teens reports being a victim of physical dating abuse each year.  What happens in the relationships of teens can be fun and exciting but what happens can also be dangerous.

In this week’s broadcast of Lyn Twyman’s Courage Empowerment Forum on, 94.9 FM Hudson Valley, NY, Lyn’s special guest is Shalanda Moten, founder and executive director of the Dating Violence Prevention Center.  We’ll discuss with Shalanda what inspired her to create her organization and the programs they offer to help young women and the community prevent dating violence.  We’ll also learn more about the “My Boyfriend Rocks Campaign”.  This program is a must hear for all parents of young people who are dating or on the cusp of dating.

Go to the link and listen live every Tuesday night at 9pm ET!

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About Shalanda Moten:

Shalanda Moten currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Dating Violence Prevention Center. As such, she has extensive experience working with non-profits in all aspects of management, programming, and community development. Her specialty areas include (a) clinical research, (b) crisis intervention, (c) prevention services, and (d)psychoeducational groups. Moreover, her appointments include service to Liz Claiborne’s Love is Not Abuse (LINA) Coalition, Start Strong Atlanta at the Jane Fonda Center, Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW): The HBCU Project, Communities in Schools Atlanta, Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Grady Rape Crisis Center, and Hands on Atlanta Americorps.

Furthermore, Ms. Moten is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from the American School of Professional School Psychology, and previously earned a Bachelors of Art in Psychology from Spelman College, and a Masters of Art in Community Counseling from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. She has received formal academic training in the areas of Brief Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral, Behavioral, Existential, Interpersonal, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, and Constructivist Therapy. Finally, her research interests are as follows: (a) dating violence, (b) date and acquaintance rape, (c) eating disorders, (d) self-mutilation, and (e) female genital mutilation.

Featured Independent Music Artist and Song

Natalie Brown
Pop/Blue-eyed Soul/R&B – Vocalist & Songwriter


Born in Canada, Natalie Brown’s passion for music was nurtured from a young age by her involvement in theater, gospel music, creative writing and local session work as a vocalist and writer. Upon deciding to pursue a professional music career, she moved to California and was selected to sing with internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist Ron Kenoly during his “Welcome Home” tour in 1996. She toured around the USA and upon returning to California, Natalie studied with world-renowned vocal instructors Seth Riggs (Stevie Wonder, Tevin Campbell, Deborah Cox) and Dave Stroud (Terry Ellis of En Vogue, Rosie Gaines).

Natalie’s debut album was released in late 2000 and contained thirteen original songs. Created with a thoughtful range of subject matter, tempo and mood throughout the album, “Let The Candle Burn” was enthusiastically welcomed by fans and industry personnel alike. She painted an interesting tapestry of sound on an album that included carefree, upbeat tracks, mid-tempo chillout songs and sweet soulful ballads.

Natalie returned to the studio to record the 2003 Holiday album entitled “A Cool Christmas”, a 10 song Cool R&B/Pop influenced collection of Holiday favorites. The album included the beloved “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, the soaring chime of “Silver Bells” and the quietly understated “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Natalie pulled Ray Charles’ “Christmas Time” out of the archives and gave it a light, airy spin that served the tune well. Up-tempo numbers included a Swing infused “Let It Snow” and a contemporary pairing of “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride”. A mellow-groove rendition of “Give Love on Christmas Day” rounded out the sure-to-please Holiday offering.

In the Spring of 2004 the digital singles ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Queen of Me’ were made available on Natalie’s official site. The songs garnered tremendous attention and In July 2004, ‘Queen of Me’ was released by Avex, Inc. Japan on the “Soul Essentials 7″ series with songs by Rahsaan Patterson, Earth, Wind & Fire and others.

Much to the delight of fans eagerly awaiting new material, January 30th, 2009 saw the release of the long awaited sophomore album “Random Thoughts”. The album features a selection of songs with varying themes (Natalie’s Random Thoughts) that range from the inspiring “Hold Your Head Up High”, the girl power anthem “Queen of Me” and the uplifting “It’s A Beautiful Day”, to the thought provoking “What’s Going on Next Door?”, the unity rallying call of “Come Closer”, the sultry “How I Love 2 Love U”, the soulful “You’re Mysterious” and signature love ballad “I Knew You Were The One”, and more.
Natalie has actively been licensing her music for Film/TV and Commercial placements for the past 7 years. She’s had music placed on every major North American cable network and premium television programs across the globe. A partial listing of domestic placements can be found on her website.
Natalie currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Other than music, she enjoys reading, creating custom jewelry, mentoring other artists, watching movies, hanging out on Twitter and shopping.

Official Web Site: www.natalie-brown (natalie DASH brown DOT com)
Twitter: (Natalie UNDERSCORE Brown)

Elin Stebbins Waldal on Courage Empowerment Forum, Featuring the Music of Girls Against Abuse

A secret so painful forced one woman to write a book and reveal a secret to her children that she had kept from them for so long.  Elin was just 17 when she fell in love with an abusive man, a man who  ”whittled her down –with words, hands, and weapons –from a confident teen to the shadow of a woman.”

In this week’s broadcast of Lyn Twyman’s Courage Empowerment Forum, first time author Elin Stebbins Waldal will share with us the inspiration behind her newly released work Tornado Warning.  Tornado Warning is Elin’s memoir of teen dating violence and the effects it had on her life.  We’ll look at what made Elin reveal this secret and why she continues to spread the message of confidence to other young girls through her organization Girls kNOw More.

We’ll also be featuring the music of The Girls Against Abuse, the vision of Music Producer Jason Brawner who spent several years working with artists from the hit show, American Idol.

Go to the link and listen live Tuesday night at 9pm ET!

To listen to previous broadcasts, visit or

Join Courage Empowerment Forum on Facebook at

also on Twitter at

Visit host Lyn Twyman’s site at

About broadcast guest Elin Stebbins Waldal

Elin Stebbins Waldal is a writer, a speaker, and the founder of Girls kNOw More, an organization whose mission is to help build confidence in middle-school-age girls.

Elin is the Love Is Not Abuse Coalition State Action Leader for California, which advocates for legislation that will require teen dating abuse curriculum in all middle schools, high schools and colleges.  She is also a regular presenter for Laura’s House, an Orange County resource for victims of domestic violence. She was recognized with an Honorable Mention Award in the World of Difference Category by The San Diego County Office of Education for speaking and educating high school students. Additionally, she is a California state certified domestic violence advocate.

She has contributed to The Courage Network, Safe World for Women, and She Writes on-line periodicals and also serves as a San Diego Examiner reporter on the subject of teen dating violence.

Elin lives in Southern California with her husband, three children, and their family dog.


Featured Independent Music Artist

The Girls Against Abuse

The “Girls Against Abuse” project is the vision of Music Producer Jason Brawner who spent several years working with artists from the hit show, American Idol. Through his many years of teaching the craft of songwriting and producing music, Jason discovered a disturbing trend of abuse and mistreatment in the lives of young women. Jason says,“Writing albums with singer/songwriters on a daily basis, I get to know them quite quickly. Far too often, I’m horrified encountering reoccurring themes of mistreatment and abuse in the lives of young women. Whether it comes from someone in their home or family, school, work, or a boyfriend, emotional and physical violence have critical effects on the victims.” What Jason has discovered working with the 70 percent of his artists that have been abused or mistreated unfortunately confirms these disturbing statistics:
  • 1 in 5 high school girls report experiencing teen dating violence.
  • Domestic violence kills and injures more girls/women than car accidents and cancer combined.
  • There were 10,088 Domestic violence crimes in Los Angeles County with 8,352 of those crimes involving a weapon in 2009, based on L.A. County Sheriff’s statistics.
On The Girls Against Abuse CD’s, options for action are encouraged in the words of the edgy heartfelt pop/rock songs sung by female artists who have made a commitment in their own lives to stand against all forms of mistreatment and abuse. The artists and producer all donate their own time for performances as well as their music for the CD’s that are available for a donation at events and on iTunes, as well as other online sites such as
The Girls Against Abuse has helped to raise awareness in the community through concerts, radio and television appearances, high school shows, fundraising and community events. Through their awareness campaign they have helped to raise over $7,000 over the past year and a half for violence prevention programs for youth, as well as community organizations and shelters that help families by providing parenting education and domestic violence services.
Their goal is to bring awareness through public performances and school events, to raise money for organizations that educate and support those in abusive situations and to provide CD’s with a positive message. Music is the universal “language” that has the ability to touch hearts…this positive music project’s aim is to help women and youth “Recognize, Resist and Recover” from abuse and mistreatment.