Women Speaking Out (WSO) is an innovative 501(c) (3) non-profit organization created in 2008 that focuses on the prevention of dating violence and teaching self-love to Hawaii's youth. Our organization offers character development and practical life application workshops, annual Speak Love Conferences, The Future is Bright Summit, anti-violence training, and a multitude of hybrid community events both virtual and in-person that focus on creating awareness about teen dating and domestic violence.
Our mission is rooted in the belief that “Prevention is Key!” WSO strives to give a voice to the youth and young adults of Hawaiʻi, by empowering them with education, platforms for action, and a voice. These opportunities provide participants with the necessary tools to speak out and take a stand against dating violence.
Our primary focus currently is to provide preventative education to young men and women in middle school through college in the State of Hawaiʻi, with the goal to one day expand our services nationwide. This specific age group experiences dating violence at staggering numbers each year. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of dating violence almost triple the national average with about 43% of college women reporting violent and abusive behaviors in their relationships. Violent relationships that happen in adolescence put victims at risk for eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, and further dating violence.
Most recently we virtually hosted 100+ students ages 13-18 for our annual Speak Love Conference in February 2021. The event which discussed teen dating violence and domestic violence in depth was a huge success and garnered wonderful feedback, engagement and participation from the students who attended. We aim to build upon this momentum for our next educational series: The Future is Bright Summi
Funded by Oahu, HI (June 2022)