Cultivating Healthy Relationships, Personal Leadership, and Ending Abuse
- Health & Wellness
- Professional Development
- Youth Development
- Middle & High School
- Parents & Teachers
Fee Range: $1K-5KInvite Ashley
Ashley Bendiksen is an award-winning activist, dating violence prevention educator, and top motivational speaker for students and educators. She combines heartfelt storytelling, education and practical strategies for change.
1 in 3 teens. 1 in 4 women. 1 in 7 men.
Our children, family, friends, and neighbors are all impacted by domestic abuse. As bystanders, so are we. Left unaddressed, this damages self-esteem and creates barriers to success.
Ashley Bendiksen is a National Speaker, Award-Winning Activist, and Prevention Expert specializing in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, social justice, women’s empowerment, and leadership development. She is sought after as a top speaker for youth and schools, as well as women’s conferences and leadership conferences.
From Homeless to Valedictorian and Award-Winning Activist
Ashley graduated as Class Valedictorian of Salve Regina University – remarkably, seven years after dropping out due to abuse and homelessness. With a B.A. in Administration of Justice, she built an accomplished career in crime and victim services, advocacy, and prevention. Further, her unique public relations background placed her in key communications roles in the justice field, and other business and nonprofit sectors.
Known for her activism, Ashley has held leadership positions within dozens of major nonprofits, in addition to founding her own social change initiatives. She currently serves on two nonprofit boards and is the Founder of the Blue Hearts Project, a global storytelling platform for survivors, and the SouthCoast Women’s Network.
ASHLEY’S EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
• B.A. in Administration of Justice, Class Valedictorian, Salve Regina University
• Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy, Certified Advocate
• Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, Extensive Continuing Education
• Trained DV/Rape Crises Counselor, The Women’s Center New Bedford
SPEAKING TOPICS FOR STUDENTS:
Stand Up: Cultivating Healthy Dating Relationships, Personal Leadership, and Ending Abuse
• Increased awareness of dating abuse, power-based violence, and their prevalence
• Setting personal boundaries, how to speak up, and ask for help
• Different forms of abuse that occur (physical and emotional)
• How to recognize red flags, control, and manipulation – often”disguised as love”
• Developing resilience and personal leadership to overcome challenges
• Role of a bystander to help a friend and shift attitudes to prevent abuse
Choosing to Lead: From Homeless to Valedictorian – Lessons on School, Love, and Wise Choices
• Increased awareness of common social harms that students may encounter
• Using ‘big picture’ thinking to prioritize personal goals and make wise choices
• Practical approaches to building personal leadership and self-advocacy
• Planning and preparing for a life and career of meaning, purpose, and significance
• Importance of active participation, experiential learning, volunteerism, and service
SPEAKING TOPIC FOR EDUCATORS:
Be a Lifeline: Empowering Educators to Intervene and Respond
•Prevalence of unhealthy teen dating and its impact on academics
•Secondary risks and consequences of teens in unhealthy dating relationships
•Emerging trends in dating with technology and how this harms teens
•Warning signs that educators can notice
•Bystander intervention skills, plus effective techniques to refer a student to help
•Trauma-informed communication and interaction skills
• Simple, yet effective empowerment-based student advocacy techniques
“I have never heard a speaker's name mentioned so many times! We wanted our keynote speaker to start off the conference weekend strong and Ashley exceeded all of our expectations! Over the weekend, I heard her name mentioned over and over again.”Nicole K, Massstar Youth Leadership Conference
“No one could believe that a woman so young, beautiful, and full of life had been through such a traumatic experience, and then gone on to find so much success. Our participants were so moved and touched by her story that they have asked her to come back and speak again.”Gail F, Executive Director of YWCA
“Ashley has my highest endorsement! She has the ability to read audiences, create a safe environment for sharing ideas, and possesses the necessary personal skills, empathy and passion to engage any type of audience – even the most seasoned professionals.”Eric B, Founder of Difference Makers
“From delivering the keynote address at our biggest event of the year, to running an effective workshop session for our students - I have seen firsthand why Ashley is a leading speaker for youth. She delivers a powerful message that engages students, is relevant and memorable, and just as important, compels them to take action afterwards.”Jeffrey P, President Junior Achievement of Southeastern Massachusetts
“Ashley was a dynamite speaker and presenter whose passion for helping others is clearly evident. Our members were enlightened and motivated to continue their work across the state to assist and advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence.”Donna S, General Federation of Women's Clubs