In 2016, Fort McCoy Family member and Wisconsin Military Youth of the Year Elissa Nott helped start the Fort McCoy Teen NO MORE Task Force in partnership with the School-Age Center/Youth Center and the SHARP program at Army Community Service.
The purpose of the task force is to raise awareness of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the Fort McCoy community for teens and young adults. The mission is to promote educational activities and raise awareness to help end domestic violence.
"I hope to inspire others to continue to educate others about how to extricate ourselves from dangerous situations; it is my hope that one day sexual assault and harassment will end," Nott said.
NO MORE is a unifying symbol and campaign to raise public awareness and engage bystanders around ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Launched in March 2013 by a coalition of leading advocacy groups, service providers, the U.S. Department of Justice, and major corporations, NO MORE is supported by hundreds of national and local groups and by thousands of individuals, organizations, universities, and communities that are using its signature blue symbol to increase visibility for domestic violence and sexual assault, according to its website, nomore.org.
NO MORE was conceived to amplify the power of the domestic violence and sexual assault movement using a unifying symbol to drive awareness and break down the barriers of stigma, silence and shame that keep people from talking about these issues and taking action to prevent them. Co-founded as a public/private partnership, NO MORE was created as a platform for those working to end domestic violence and sexual assault, in the belief that greater dialogue will fuel enhanced funding for direct service, advocacy, and prevention.
Nott noticed that although the Army has the SHARP program aimed at helping to reduce interpersonal violence among adults, Army teens and college-age youth are not being given those same important messages. She met with key members of the Youth Center and Army Community Service team to help bring the task force to life.
"In helping to start this Task Force, I learned that most teens base what they think a healthy relationship looks like off of TV shows or movies," Nott said. "In reality, most shows and movies give a false representation about what relationships should be like."
Since the start of the task force, numerous workshops have been provided to teens and young adults focused on consent, bystander intervention, and how offenders operate. The January workshop focused on the Green Dot movement which will reinforce the bystander-intervention techniques discussed earlier and also help promote a cultural change to create a community that does not tolerate violence.
The task force's goal is to participate in or put on events -- such as the Green Dot workshop -- at least once per quarter to help raise awareness of domestic-abuse and sexual-assault prevention, said School-Age Center/Youth Center Assistant Director Megan Browning. The teens plan to prepare display tables for any events related to the task force, such as April events tied to Sexual-Assault Awareness Month.
All Fort McCoy teens are welcome to participate in the task force. For more information, call the School-Age Center/Youth Center at 608-388-4373.