Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Have a Heart: Help To End Teen Dating Violence

Unfortunately, young love does not run as smooth as some books and movies would have us believe. Violence and abuse can occur in relationships no matter the age of the people involved. Violent and abusive tendencies that are learned and/or experienced in the teen years can lead to some pretty serious problems.

Here is a sobering statistic:

Nearly 25% of 14-17 year-olds surveyed know at least one student who was a victim of dating
violence, while 11% know multiple victims of dating violence. 33% of teens have actually wit-
nessed such an event. Empower Program, sponsored by Liz Claiborne Inc. and conducted by Knowledge Networks, Social Control, Verbal Abuse, and Violence Among Teenagers, (2000).

What's this mean? It means that even if you're not currently dating anyone or don't know of anyone who's in an abusive relationship, you might eventually. So, how can you help?

First, you can learn more about dating violence. Here are a couple of sites to explore issues related to this issue:

Teen Violence Prevention Project

Love Is Respect

The Safe Place

Second, you can participate in the Have A Heart campaign. I have the materials ready for us to make hearts in today's class. Feel free to get thoughtful and creative to show your solidarity and awareness about this important issue!

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