National teen dating violence month
Dozens of states have enacted legislation that addresses teen dating violence, according to research compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.As of July 2014, at least 22 states had passed laws that “allow, urge or require school boards to develop or include curriculum on teen dating violence.”Still, school leaders are not dependent on state mandates to act.Nikkia Rowe, the principal of Renaissance Academy High School in West Baltimore, teaches a dating-abuse-prevention curriculum to ninth-graders.
While he called the study’s findings “deeply troubling,” he said that dating abuse hasn’t been cited specifically by principals as an area of focus for the national organization, alluding to state policies that oversee teen dating violence training and education.Since 1996, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has been the vital link to safety for women, men, children and families affected by domestic violence.With the help of our dedicated advocates and staff, we respond to calls 24/7, 365 days a year.Less than a third (30 percent) posted information on teen dating violence that was easily available and accessible to students—posted in hallways or the cafeteria, for example—and just 35 percent specifically addressed dating abuse in their school’s violence-prevention policies.Further, when principals were presented with several options and asked to identify the largest barrier to assisting student victims, the second most-common response—following lack of training—was that “dating violence is a minor issue compared with other student health issues we deal with.”According to Jagdish Khubchandani, the associate professor of health science at Ball State University and the study’s lead author, some school principals are hampered by faculty and staff without sufficient skills and training; others, meanwhile, mistakenly perceive dating violence as a typical, trivial teenage problem.
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What’s more, some parents have their own misconceptions and myths about dating abuse, such as the belief that partner abuse must be physical by definition.