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Empowering Youth To Stand Against Teen-Dating Violence Through Music

Oyster Bay teen Charlie Dane is promoting healthy relationships and empowering youth through pop music

Oyster Bay High School (OBHS) seventh-grade student Charlie Dane, 13, is using her talent to talk to fellow teens about dating violence. She is part of a campaign using seven youth artist finalists, aged 13 to 20, from across the country who have contributed original songs to the nonprofit Pave the Way Project (PWP) which raises awareness of dating violence among their peers. The winning artist will perform in a recording of a new song written by Grammy Award winner Salvador Santana, collaborating alongside his father, 10-time Grammy Award winner Carlos Santana. The famed music pair is showing support for this initiative through the power of music to connect with youth around dating violence issues.    

Charlie is a singer/song-writer/guitarist, so performing with famed guitarist Carlos Santana would be a life-changing experience. Michele Browner, Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce president said, “This is Oyster Bay’s own Charlie Dane (Lublin) working on a public service project for teen dating violence.  Check out her original song and remember to vote for her in the Pave the Way Project beginning May 29. 

“She will also be playing on the stage at the Health Fair May 19, and at several Cruise Nights, held Tuesdays in Oyster Bay,” added Ms. Browner. She urged everyone to “Like” Charlie on Facebook.

Charlie said she was inspired to write “Prisoner” because “I felt that being stuck in a situation like this [teen dating violence] is sort of like being a prisoner and if you are a victim of relationship abuse, you need to break out of the chains that keep you from living your life freely. I was inspired by all that I read and learned about this topic.”

YouTube and OBHS

On YouTube, Charlie is filmed talking in front of the Oyster Bay High School entrance. She said that although she doesn’t have firsthand experience in dating violence, when she was approached by PAVE, “I was excited to be part of such a cool campaign.” She said she get ideas for her songs from listening to what kids say in the school’s hallways. Her songs are otherwise about her own life experiences. She urged people to go to the PAVE website to learn about healthy relationships.

Charlie said her goal in writing “Prisoner” was to say to a teen in a bad relationship — have the confidence and power to speak out and stop being controlled by violence, and not to be afraid of saying that something is wrong.

Pattie Lublin, Charlie’s mom said, “Everyone young and old can learn from visiting the PAVE site. They are featuring seven teenage artists from around the country and Charlie is so psyched to be one of them. She wrote her song ‘Prisoner’ specifically for this cause.”

According to PWP, dating violence is something all too prevalent among today’s youth. In fact, one in four teens will experience dating violence at some point in his or her relationship.

A new program called PAVE the Way Project combines music, an interactive website and an educational curriculum to help raise awareness of teen domestic abuse. The program was created through a partnership with Verizon Wireless, Cornerstone and MTE Inc., and the goal is to promote healthy relationships and empower teens to take a stand against dating violence through the expression of pop music.

A new song is being released by a different artist every Tuesday, from April 10 through May 22.

Charlie is comfortable in front of the camera and has an easy and natural way of communicating. Her singing is a natural extension of her abilities.

Charlie’s song “Prisoner” was released May 8  and is available as a free download at, and a reminder, that the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite track beginning May 29.

Dating Violence

According to PAVE, dating violence is a pattern of behaviors whereby one person uses intimidation, confusion, isolation and fear to control the relationship. It happens in both adult and teen relationships, however “teen-dating violence occurs in ways that are often overlooked by parents, siblings and friends.” People underestimate the significance of dating pressure and consider the events are “young love” or “puppy love.” They explained that oftentimes, when violence occurs, the victim stays in the home until healed, hiding the results of an incident.

Besides being concerned if people will believe them, when they tell about dating abuse, they are afraid of retaliation by the abuser, as a result: they are scared into silence. Additionally, says PAVE, “Many young people are so worried about getting in trouble for dating when it has been forbidden [by their family] that they are even more afraid to ask friends or adults for help.”