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Scout Clout

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Next week, the Girl Scouts will propose a new merit badge for girls to acquire, one they can earn by learning about domestic violence. Among some of the lessons required: find out where victims can go for help, and how to distinguish between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.






Maura Nolan

Age: I’m not going to tell you.

Resides: Village

Occupation: Writer

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? I was in the Girl Scouts. I didn’t know anything about it then. No one talked about it.

What else should there be a badge for? Incest. It goes hand-in-hand with domestic violence. Also, public services, that’s really important that people don’t do enough of.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? Verbal abuse can be almost as devastating as physical abuse.








Jamie Laboska

Age: 23

Resides: Long Beach, Long Island

Occupation: Student

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? I can’t recall ever learning that in school. But something like
that is not badge-worthy. It’s just something they should know about.

What else should there be a badge for? Maybe self-defense. Especially in New York. Street smarts for women that a man wouldn’t have to know.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? I don’t fight that much. It goes in one ear and out the other. But it’s usually things like, “Where were you, you’re late?” And I’d be like, “I was out getting gas,” and she’d say, “No you weren’t!”





Sandra Johnson

Age: I don’t want
to tell you.

Resides: North Bronx

Occupation: Customer service

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? No. I lived it. The problem is, when you grow up with domestic violence, you think that’s how you’re supposed to be as an adult, until you get help. I got help.

What else should there be a badge for? They should learn more about self-appreciation. There’s a lot of that not going on these days, girls giving sex too easily.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? Jealousy. It became kind of physical.






Lisa Karbiner

Age: 26

Resides: Midtown

Occupation: Consultant

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? Yeah, through school. Like in
middle school.

What else should there be a badge for? Female self-esteem, in terms
of dating and stuff. Also, self-maintenance, taking care of their bodies.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? Paying for dinner. It always comes up. I try to pay and he won’t let me.






Dahomey Coleman

Age: 25

Resides: Park Slope, Brooklyn

Occupation: Investment banker

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? No. As an adult, in college, I learned, I guess. And movies. I remember seeing The Burning Bed with Farrah Fawcett.

What else should there be a badge for? They should learn about discrimination in the
workplace, race issues, and feminine hygiene.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? Over money with a boyfriend. He thought I was being too extravagant, but it’s my money.










Chris Allen

Age: 28

Resides: Bayonne,
New Jersey

Occupation: Business consultant

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? No, it really wasn’t a hot topic back then.
I learned about it the way that everyone
did— the thing with O.J.

What else should there be a badge for?
Something centering around the general
self-esteem issues: weight and looks. They get the wrong message these days.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? Something about jealousy. She was accusing me of something.






Ed Murray

Age: 43

Resides: Floral Park, Long Island

Occupation: Firefighter

Did you learn about domestic violence as a kid? No, not at all.

What else should there be a badge for? I have two girls, and right now, I’m into family trees. I’m trying to get them into it. Man, if I had started when I was their age, I’d have
everything about our family. But they’re
really not interested.

Worst fight you ever had with a significant other? Whenever my wife and I argue, it’s over at the end of the day. One of us has to apologize. So even though I don’t think I’m wrong, I’ll say, “Honey, I’m right, but I apologize.”



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