40 Stories - Claire Lisco

Teen Empowerment Advocate

Claire Lisco joined PADV’s staff in April 2015 as a Teen Empowerment Advocate. Prior to coming to PADV, Claire was in graduate school studying biased motivated aggression, alcohol-related aggression, violence against women and intimate partner violence. Claire chose PADV as her next step because she felt the position was a perfect transition from the therapy, research and assessment world to a real life environment where she could impact people throughout the community.

A main goal of Claire’s work is to create a safe space for teens to have open conversations that can be uncensored and unfiltered.  By creating this safe space, she’s then able to engage teens in honest exploration about dating violence, warning signs, abusive relationships they may have witnessed or experienced and characteristics of healthy relationships.  This dialogue helps teens understand their importance and self-worth, as well as what they need to do to make sure that it is recognized and respected by others.  This personal exploration, understanding of self and respect for others is critical to the prevention of dating violence. 

In every interaction and presentation, Claire sees the impact of PADV’s services. Following a Teen Dating Violence 101 presentation for a youth group at a Gwinnett church, two parents shared their daughter’s stories of teen dating violence and instantly became actively engaged in the work of PADV. 

“These are the moments that truly excite me about the direction PADV is moving.  It’s wonderful to see all of the energy that exists around preventing teen dating violence,” said Claire.

Claire is passionate about the work she’s doing and wants parents to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to have those hard and open conversations with their teens. “It’s all about starting the dialogue,” said Claire. “It should be the norm to talk to your father as much as your mother about dating issues for both boys and girls.”

When asked what she wanted others to know about PADV she replied: “We are doing great work with those who have already experienced domestic violence in their lives, but in order for us to truly have an impact it’s imperative we start the discussion and prevention of dating violence earlier.”