The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be posting press releases and additional information as April 23, 2015 approaches. Post your organization's press release here. Please return to this page before April 23 to view those releases as they become available.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Office on Women’s Health
PO Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570
Media Advisory Template
Media Release Template
These will provide your organization media advisory and media release templates. These documents were developed by the Office on Women’s Health in the Missouri Department of the Health and Senior Services in an effort to have a clear and consistent message about the background and initiatives of the program.
So what do we do? Let’s start by building healthy and respectful relationships.
- Relationships are not perfect – Feeling angry, hurt or upset at times is normal. But feeling scared, humiliated, pressured or controlled is not the way a relationship should make you feel. Instead, you should feel loved, respected and free to be yourself.
Action Step: Support your significant other through the language you use and the actions you take. Respect your partner and your partner’s decisions, including those involving sex. Never force someone to engage in sexual activity. This is sexual assault, whether you are dating, married, living together as a couple or are just friends.
- Talk with each other – communication is essential in health relationships. Couples should take time to talk with each other – respect each other’s opinions and feel comfortable asking each other questions even about sex.
Action Step: Take time to talk and listen to your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse. Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and directly, without intentionally hurting or disrespecting each other. Even if you disagree, never pressure your significant other.
- Family matters – Families are an important part of everyone’s lives. Family members help shape beliefs, provide support, and can serve as role models. But sometimes families can reinforce violent behavior. Actions with intent to abuse, humiliate, harass or degrade another lead to unhealthy relationships. Children learn what they see and hear. Without healthy relationships from which to learn, children can grow up to act out and be in sexually abusive relationships (American Psychological Association, 1996).
Action Step: Simples changes in the way you act in front of your children can prevent sexual violence. For instance, speak up when you see your son or daughter mistreat others physically or emotionally. Talk with your children about what it means to be in a healthy relationship where couples do not hurt each other physically, sexually or emotionally (American Psychological Association, 1996).
- Friends count – Friends are an important source of support and advice. Friends play a powerful role in shaping attitudes, beliefs and behaviors about rape and sexual violence. Friends should speak up when they know or see a friend insist on sex. Talk with each other about what it means to give and receive respect.
Action Step: Friends should not accept excuses for violent acts committed by people they love. Confront the abuser – only if you can do it safely. Let the abuser know you don’t approve of the behavior; and discuss changes that can be made to have more productive, healthy relationships (Golding, Wilsnack and Cooper, 2002).
- Building blocks – Trust, honesty and respect among friends, family and others play a critical role in healthy relationships. Respect your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife’s wishes when it comes to their body. Never ignore protests and respect your partner’s right to say “no” to things that cause discomfort.
Action Step: Treat your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, friends and family with the same trust, honesty and respect that you would want. Your partner does not need to be “putting up a good fight” to be raped. (Golding, Wilsnack and Cooper, 2002).
- Violence is Never Okay – Intentional violence is never the victim’s fault. Violence doesn’t mean physical abuse. Abusive relationships can occur any time someone intentionally attacks you physically, sexually or psychologically. Abuse is never okay. Never make light of abuse or try to justify or excuse violent behavior by blaming the victim.
Action Step: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly, directly and respectfully. Whatever the circumstance, no one ever asks to be raped. Respect your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband. Don’t impose your will because you think your partner will like it, that you deserve it or that you think you partner is asking for sex.