Down with the Dursleys

What is the injustice we are solving?
Various students within my school and neighborhood communities suffer from a form of *psychological abuse or **emotional neglect. Down with the Dursleys strives to address the issues of psychological abuse and emotional neglect, as well as the issue of the abused remaining silent.

*Psychological abuse (also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse, or mental abuse) is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
**Emotional neglect is the failure to provide adequate nurturing and affection to a child or the refusal or delay in ensuring that a child receives needed treatment for emotional or behavioral problems. Emotional neglect may also involve exposure to chronic or extreme domestic violence.
Fish S.

October 03, 2017

Wow -- this sounds like a really powerful idea! Thanks for bringing this to us. Taking on an injustice like this takes courage, and it's amazing that you're stepping up.

I think it's really powerful to focus on psychological abuse and emotional neglect -- forms of harm that can be incredibly impactful but often aren't fully understood.

How far along are you in your project? If you're still thinking about how you can address the issues of psychological abuse and emotional neglect, we have some tools that can help you plan your next steps!
Journey B.

October 03, 2017

Thank you so much! This form of abuse is often overlooked, and/or misunderstood, so it's a very serious injustice, as well as a privlidge to address!

In terms of the current timeline, my club members and I are currently focusing on fundraising. Once we have met the target goal in funding, we will move on to the nitty gritty of our project: purchasing the needed bracelets and organisizing the needed seminars/sessions. I would be more than thrilled to provide you with further details in terms of Down with the Dursleys, as well!
Fish S.

October 06, 2017

Journey -- couldn't agree more! I was speaking with mental health advocate Yashi Brown ( yesterday and told her about your project. We agreed that it was a powerful idea that is important to address!

Tell me more about the seminars/sessions that you are planning to organize. Who are they targeting? What are they teaching? What is it you hope to achieve? We may be able to help you with organizing these.

We hope that you'll use our tools to help you put together a plan for your next steps -- we can offer you a mini-grant of up to $250 to support your work once you do.

If you have any questions, or know of anything we can help you with -- let us know!
Journey B.

October 08, 2017

Thank you so much! I have just followed Yashi Brown on Tumblr.

Down with the Dursleys will be run through my club Wildcats with Wands, a high school chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance within Arundel High School.

Arundel High School's school colors are green and white; students predominantly wear green. I want to provide Color Coat 1/2" silicone wristbands to students and neighbors. One side of the wristband will be green with the text: "Dumbledore's Army"; the other side of the wristbands will be white with the text: "I survived the Dursleys". Students wearing their wristbands with the green side on display are members of Dumbledore's Army--they are allies to those suffering from psychological abuse and/or emotional neglect. Students wearing their wristbands with the white side on display are Dursley survivors--they are suffering from, or are survivors of, psychological abuse and/or emotional neglect.

The obvious problem lays within the idea that many students facing this form of abuse will avoid wearing their bracelets in order to remain discreet about their situation; as a Dursley survivor myself, I can most definitely pinpoint a time in which I would have steered clear of these bracelets. It is for this reason, that specific members of Dumbledore's Army--who are also members of Wildcats with Wands--will be designated with session times throughout the school year.

It is my goal that the sessions will be held in an environment in which members of Dumbledore's Army may meet to share their experiences, receive information concerning the availability of our school counselors, or simply to learn more about the complexity of psychological abuse and emotional neglect.

I would be very grateful for both the use of your tools and the mini-grant! In terms of the tools, may I receive more information on what they are, how to acquire them, and how to use them?

In terms of the mini-grant, it would very much help with the acquiring of bracelets. From my experience, most school organizations and clubs acquire their silicone bracelets from the service Rapid Wristbands. A single bracelet, Color Coat 1/2", with both an outside and internal message + tax costs $1.68. Purchasing 100 wristbands or over, immediately makes the order eligible for 100 additional wristbands. Thus, the cost of acquiring 252 of these bracelets would cost $252.65. Wildcats with Wands would pay the remaining difference of $2.65.
Fish S.

October 13, 2017

Journey -- this sounds amazing. What I really love about this is the fact that young people can mark themselves as "upstanders," so that any of their friends who are going through trauma know how to identify supportive members of their community. That's a powerful statement and a great antidote to the loneliness that abused people often feel.

I'd encourage you to think about how you're building awareness of these issues -- what they are, what they mean, and how they affect people! Students will probably need to have a good understanding of psychological abuse and emotional neglect before participating in the campaign, right? Let us know if we can help you develop educational materials.

(Side note: That's cool that you go to Arundel High! I grew up in Anne Arundel County. Go Wildcats!)
Journey B.

October 13, 2017

You are quite correct in regards to building awareness! Wildcats with Wands is currently working with two other clubs: Seeking Smiles and Wildcat Wellness; these two clubs advocate for mental health within the Arundel High School community, and are more than willing to provide educational, spatial, and organizational aid for an Awareness Week. The week would conclude on Friday in which, simultaneously, Down with Dursleys would begin. I would also be very greatful for any assistance provided in terms of the development of educational materials.

(Side note: It's super cool that you grew up here!)
Fish S.

October 16, 2017

Hi Journey, it's really awesome that you're thinking about partnerships and that others at your school are so willing to help! I think an Awareness Week to launch the campaign sounds awesome. We're happy to provide you with feedback on any awareness resources you develop, or connect you with a mentor who can. What stage are you at with developing these? :)
Journey B.

October 22, 2017

I'm terribly sorry for the late response! As of now, Seeking Smiles and Wildcats with Wands are currently gathering the appropriate materials and patiently waiting until our next Club Council meeting in order to effectively establish a set timeline.
Fish S.

October 23, 2017

Don't be sorry -- that sounds like a good plan. Let us know how we can help!