DartHeart's mission is to help youth survivors of violence reach recovery. DartHeart was founded by youth survivors for youth survivors. Our objectives include:
- Providing a collaborative safe space for youth survivors to connect, learn about recovery, and share their recovery stories, tips and support.
- Directing collaboration projects to create relevant, youth focused recovery tools and then distributing these tools for free to reach more youth survivors online and in-person.
- Leading social change initiatives that give youth survivors the opportunity to use their collective recovery experiences to improve their communities.
- Minimizing or eliminating barriers such as cost and isolation that limit youth survivors from reaching recovery.
Who Uses DartHeart?
DartHeart helps youth survivors of violence between the ages of 12 and 24.
There is arguably an epidemic of violence against youth in this country. Violence statistics show that youth between the ages of 12 and 24 are the most likely group to be victims of a violent crime. Some striking statistics include:
- 1 in 12 high school students are injured or threatened with a weapon each year.
- The majority of active duty military members are youth. For instance, 36.9% of Marine Corp members are 18-21 with another 46% between 22 and 30. Of the returning veterans, nearly 20% are likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress.
- 44% of rape victims are under the age of 18 while 80% are under 30 years old.
- Young women age 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing nonfatal intimate partner violence and American Indians experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
In addition to surviving a high rate of violence, youth are in the midst of a unique brain development phase. Major insights in neuroscience and biochemistry have recently determined that youth, approximately 12 to 24 years old, are at a distinct mental age. While some of this research is still in its infancy, we do know that there is the potential for post-violence stress to cause long-lasting negative impacts on the brain. We also know that this period of youth brain development prioritizes friendship and social acceptance above all else, sometimes even to a life or death degree.
To offer the most effective violence recovery tools for youth, it is critical that tools account for the science behind this youth development phase and emphasize peer affirmation and support. Without this combination, youth are less likely to seek support or reach recovery – a particularly regrettable fact given that it is youth who represent the highest percentage of survivors of violence.
Why It Works
Aside from DartHeart, there are few recovery options tailored to the unique development of youth.
DartHeart is on the cutting edge of designing recovery tools to help a large youth population of violence survivors. We have tailored our recovery tools to fulfill the priorities of youth so that they incorporate peer support with traditional approaches to recovery. Our design for a collaborative safe space online connects youth survivors, allows them to share their experience in a constructive way to create recovery tools, and empowers them to use their collective recovery experiences to create social change that improves conditions for all youth violence survivors. Every level of participation in DartHeart provides an opportunity for individual recovery from violence.
DartHeart uses social networking to deliver recovery tools
tailored to youth survivors.
We help all youth survivors reach recovery from violence!