Safety Planning for Teen Victims of Dating Violence
Mitru Ciarlante, Candice Hopkins  -  2009/2/18
http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
We are looking for any research-based risk assessments focused on helping teens identify if they are likely to become involved in an unhealthy dating relationship. Do you have any suggestions on this?
 
1.  Renae
 Thank you for providing these resources! I will definitely look at them!
 
2.  Kay Reed
 You might want to check out the materials from the nfp organization I represent, The Dibble Institute. We have free dating violence handouts for teachers and students to help themselves and their friends. We also develop evidence based programs that help teens learn what to aspire to in healthy relationships and what to look for and avoid in unhealthy ones.
 
3.  MCiarlante
 All schools with students in grades 912 participate in the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) that includes sections on dating violence and sexual victimization. Find more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/SS/SS5505.pdf You may want to read this article: Foshee VA, Benefield TS, Ennett ST, et al. 2004. Longitudinal predictors of serious physical and sexual dating violence victimization during adolescence. Preventive Medicine 39(5):1007-1016.Vangee Foshee, one of the authors, participated in national roundtables where we discussed some of the issues you raise. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) convened workshops to discuss gaps in the research, definition and data collection challenges, and other issues. You may read the minutes from the June 2006 meeting: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/violence-against-women/workshops/teen-dating.htm and the December 2007 meeting, Teen Dating Violence: Developing a Research Agenda to Meet Practice Needs: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/violence-against-women/workshops/teen-dating-violence-agenda.htm -Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
I believe that the voices of victims of teen dating violence and sexual assault would have the most impact on public awareness and on offenders. I am currently trying to put together a videotape of 5 victims but if anyone knows of one already out there, I don't necessarily want to reinvent the wheel.
 
1.  Mitru Ciarlante
 Thanks, Joselle! Youth Outreach for Victim Assistance is a project of the National Crime Prevention Council and the National Center for Victims supported by the Office for Victims of Crime.
 
2.  JShea
 Silent Message was actually produced in collaboration with teens participating in the Youth Outreach for Victim Assistance project. The teens helped write, film, act in, and produce the film. It was an incredible partnership between Mr. White and the teens.
 
3.  Jess
 Hudsonpro has produced a film called Silent Message with Duke White. It is a film well received in the Oregon communities, as the actors are teens, the producer and his son. There is the documentary poriton of the film that discusses the impact of the film making. Duke and his son are willing to travel to community presentations.
 
4.  Amanda Bryant
 I am the sexual assault counselor for the Fort Bend Womens Center in Rosenberg, Texas. We are currently in the schools talking about teen dating violence. We have video already made and I am in the process of doing a powerpoint. I suggest bringing life to the presentation by bringing personal experiences from your organization ect without breaking confidentiality. This really helps with the students!
 
5.  Candice Hopkins
 There are good videos out there often written by teens, but they are not the in the voices of survivors. We are working on a project right now but it is difficult to get real teens to share their stories. Youtube is the best bet for clips created by teens for other teens.
 
6.  MCiarlante
 Victims' and survivors' actual experiences are instructive as well as inspiring. If you are able to make a new video, go for it! The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the National Center for Victims of Crime produced a 20-minute video, Because Things Happen Every Day, that features victims and survivors, as well as school resource officers, schools, and victim advocates. View the video at http://www.youtube.com/user/NationalCenter
 
 
When the victim is in love with the abuser, how do you seperate the love from the action? What is the best direction to start this process?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 We would recommend validating the feelings of love and the realness of the relationship. Then discuss what healthy relationship should like and appropriate behaviours. If they feel uncomfortable that is a place to start the discussion. What has them feeling uncomfortable... Can they tell you an incident or time they felt this way. It order to highlight good or healthy behavior versus the unhealty or abusive behavior.
 
 
What advise do you suggest giving to teens who become aware a friend is in an abusive relationship, specifically on how to approach the friend and when to seek outside assistance?
 
1.  K. Bonnewell
 You mention quizzes, any particular ones you suggest?
 
2.  ElizabethDilley
 Where are some of these online quizzes you are talking about?
 
3.  Candice Hopkins
 For a friend who is afraid or concerned about a relationship we encourage not making accusations or attacking the person who is being abusive. The situation is important.. Is this happening in school or work or in another setting. This will help a firend decide when to approach a conversation. Using the internet too... there are quizzes out there to start the conversation. If there is immnient danger we encourage the teen to tell a trusted adult. This is very difficult and impacted by minimization of teen relationships by adults. No tattling, or ratting... They don't want someone to get in trouble. Awareness of what the school rules are for an advocate is very important.
 
 
Last year, Rhode Island general legislature passed the 'Lindsay Burke Act', which expanded the state's anti-bullying parameters and opened up the DOE to adding dating violence to student health class curriculum. Are there plans by other states to adopt a similar legislation? If not, how can we advance this?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 At least one other state that we know of, Texas requires education on teen dating violence in schools, and we know other states are looking at it. Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
What recommendations do you have for schools regarding safety planning when both an alleged perpetrator and a victim attend the same school, but there is no restraining order?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 A new resource was released in February 2008: A Guide to Addressing Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault in a School Setting, available at www.safestate.org. Teen dating violence negatively affects school safety and student achievement. Federal and state law both require that students be safe and protected at school. This Guide is designed to inform schools about their legal obligations relating to violence on campus and how schools can take a leadership role to prevent and respond to teen dating and sexual violence in schools and in the community.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Thanks for this question. We can learn a lot from schools who have developed policies to provide safety for victims in ways that comply with federal education regulations. The Massachusetts Dept. of Education developed guidelines for schools on addressing dating violence. Guidelines include sample dating violence policies and responses for schools, and a sample stay away contract. The Center for State Communities and Schools at Texas San Marcos State University has a Guide to Addressing Teen Dating Violence in Texas Schools, created after Texas passed a law requiring all school districts to implement a dating violence policy. Mitru Ciarlante
 
3.  Corina
 This is really tough, but I believe that the school support staff need to come together and work closely with both individuals. Bring in advocates or refer to a crisis center. Continue to educate and provide quidance and ensure safety while at school
 
 
1. Could you address technological safety planning related to cyber-stalking (cell phones, texting), facebook, etc.? 2. Could you discuss issues related to obtaining protective orders for minors when you do not want or cannot get parental approval?
 
1.  Mitru Ciarlante
 Natalie: As an advocate, you and your organization have to be clear about who your primary helping relationship is with. As a Chilrens' Advocate and then as a Youth Victim Advocate, my agreements and obligations were with the child and teen victims to whom I provided support, advocacy, counseling and other services. When people who were important in the life and safety of the victim did not share herhis goals, we would offer the victim options:-the victim's advocate could mediate communication with parents to help build their understanding and support-the parents could meet with another advocate for education around how to take care of themsleves and their family's safety while supporting the primary victim in nonpressuring ways
 
2.  Candice Hopkins
 Break they Cycle at http://www.breakthecycle.org/resources-state-law-report-cards.html offers report cards on state laws. We use this inforamtion when talking to teens and their parents about what might be an option or resource legally. It is interesting to see where states individually stand on the issues teens face.
 
3.  Amber
 What are Break the Cycle Report Cards?
 
4.  Candice Hopkins
 For safety planning with teens around technology the biggest concern is often the loss of these outlets when a teen comes forward. Being able to address that is important in rapport building. Because these technologies are embedded in a teens lives we encourage documentation of what is going on... copies of text, screen shots, and such. Each social networking site has rules and teens can often be empowered by learning what are safety standards they can implement without turning off the site. In addition what can they do with the phone-can they block numbers and do they want to do that. Change passwords and settings is very important too. For the legal issues we encourage people to get familiar with Break the Cycles report cards. Knowing what is possible is very helpful and then deciding if a teen wishes to go forward. If parents are not an option then we recommend taking safety planning ot a microlevel. What is the teens power. Changing routes to work, school, lunch times, having friends around at all times, and to document incidents. Even if this is a diary.
 
5.  Natalie Smith
 Along those same lines, could you discuss what to do when a PARENT wants to get a protective order and the minor does not?
 
 
What are some promising practices for safety planning with teens when there is limited confidentiality?
 
1.  Mitru Ciarlante
 To learn more about the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, loveisrespect, please register and attend the Web training that Candice Hopkins and the peer advocates are doing in the National Center for Victims of Crime online training series on teen victims, supported by a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime.Registration is free, but spots are limited. To register or to access training materials, visit https://ncvc.webex.com. For assistance, please contact Mitru Ciarlante 202-467-8743 or mciarlante@ncvc.org.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Youth and people who work with teens know that laws designed to help protect children/minors may sometimes present barriers to help-seeking for teens and pose challenges for advocates who strive to assist and comply with reporting laws. One scenario may be when to engage in realistic safety planning, a teen victim would have to disclose abuse that the adult would be mandated to report to child protective services or law enforcement --and the youth does not want that to happen. (Perhaps for fears that the victim would suffer repercussions.)Advocates absolutely must be honest with teen victims about reporting requirements and the limits of confidentiality. We should offer teens multiple options and formats for receiving information and help. In addition to 1:1 counseling, there are anonymous helplines and chats, peer support, and literature on safety planning. This is a complex question requiring more exploration, so I will also direct you to our recent publication, Chart a Course: Policies that Affect Victim Services with Teens. Download a copy at www.ncvc.org. Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
I lead NM's TDV Prevention initiative. Our state is trying to enhance its safety resources for teens. We have 2 significant barriers: 1) Developing shelter resources that both serve youth and are equipped to deal with safety needs associated with TDV, like stalking & separation violence. Few adult DV shelters serve minors unless they are parents and runaway shelters aren't equipped or funded to serve TDV survivors. 2) Encouraging schools to keep victims safe through protocols/school safety plans. What are other states doing to increase shelter resources? How are states partnering with schools to increase their readiness in identifying, preventing and intervening with students who are perpetrators or victims of TDV?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 The barriers you mention are true across the country. Our experience is that teens do not see shelters as an option. In the two years since the Helpline launched very few teens wished to pursue shelter-they most often want counseling and support groups. We most often hear that they want all of the forms of abuse to be taken seriously including verbal and emotional which often would not qualify them for shelter. So can the shelters look at other services? Is the intake worker trained in talking to teens? In Texas there is a law that requires each school district to address teen dating abuse. HB 121 can be found at www.tcfv.org in the Prevention section. There is also the work being done in RI. We encourage the safety plan address relationship red flags and safe zones in schools. Can a school do a local safety plan that allows for the changing of schedules and lunches or parking lots.
 
2.  Jenny
 I hear your concern. I work with incarcerated youth and just last week we talked about unhealthy relationships and DV. Many of the teens asked about DV shelter for under 18. I hated having to say that AZ doesn't have the resources for teens. Often times sending them home is worst than them returning to the abuser.
 
 
Our program works with victims of gun violence ages 15-24. Most of our female victims were shot by a current/former boyfriend and when talking about the incident often refer to it as an accident and in some cases continue to have a relationship after the shooting; particularly when children are involved. How do we properly counsel these young women to ensure they are not further victimized (i.e. killed)?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 Education about healthy relationships and what that looks like is vital. Like adults the teen victim has to make the choice to end the relationship. A complete safety plan and risk assessment would be important. Is the teen describing the incident as an accident or are there friends or family members who don't want the batterer to get in trouble? I am not sure other than continue counseling if there is a specific resource out there.
 
 
Representing a program addressing the needs of battered immigrants; how can we best help immigrant teens abused in dating relationships emotionally/physically/sexually who have the additional obstacles of immigrant status, language and cultural differences and fear of accessing mainstream resources?
 
1.  Souk
 The best way to help that i have experienced myself is finding a agency that is culturally appropriate to better help. A lot of these women are afraid to be put into facility that they can not communicate with, it becomes a place that they dwell being there. So why would you report any abuse knowing you are going to be put into a place like that.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 You present a multi-faceted challenge and my answer would be that to best help victims/survivors, we need to work with them where they are and on the needs and goals they are prioritizing. I would bet that your program is doing this, but that it is still difficult, and that the most urgent priority shifts daily! As much as possible, a coordinated community approach is best because a)victims/survivors are building multiple supportive relationships in the community, b)one program is not trying to do and be it all.As pressed as we are to respond to crisis needs of people who are not safe, if we also take time to build collaborations and connections to community resources (that are competent, relevant) it will be a worthwhile investment. For more support and tips on how to do this when mainstream resources may not seem open and friendly, email me and we'll chat. mciarlante@ncvc.org
 
 
How can we turn the priority of counseling and treatment to prevention and education on the multiple levels teen-agers understanding. Many teens do not see "violence" in the same context as adults. Recruiting teen stars and teen programs with clear messages is a start.
 
1.  Lynne Rybicki
 I have to disagree. I don't believe in utilizing bad behavior to elicite good. Brown is a generational abuser and Rihanna is the consumate victim.
 
2.  doris spears
 Exactly. I was amazed at some of the comments and perspective of the youth I know regarding the incident between R&B singers Chris Brown and Rihanna. Both would be great spokespersons.
 
3.  Candice Hopkins
 It is important to speak and communicate in a language teens understand and can relate with. The name of the Helpline was designed by youth and does not include violence and we have created our materials specifically to target the most reported forms of relationship issues... controlling behaviors and verbal abuse. This came from teen voices and teen focus groups. The use of teens and young people to craft the message is of vital importance. The AG of Texas sponsored the LOVE campaign which can be be found at www.lovisrespect.org and the love and language was all driven by teens. The use of technology is huge and how can we apply the language of domestic violence to this techonolgy. What does intimidation look like on MySpace? That will help get a teen to see themselves in our descriptions of abuse. We most often hear something does not feel right as a description of an abusive relationship, but no mention of physical or overt displays of abuse. There is less clear identification of abuse and makes recognizing and abusive behavior difficult for the young person involved.
 
 
How do we bridge the information gap between the invincible (it will never happen to me) youth and the shattered victim we often have to deal with? I appreciate the effort put forth by victims when they tell us that they "heard it all before as they were in school, but you never understand until it happens to you". How do we help them understand before it is too late?
 
1.  Jessica
 I agree that teens often hold misconceptions about what love and what a healthy relationship is, and I believe that some of this can be attributed to the ways relationships are portrayed in the media- the songs they listen to, the videos they watch, the shows they love, etc. The people around them- their peers, friends, and family may also romanticize unhealthy behaviors such as jealousy and controlling behavior. It is important to reflect on what they want (not what others want for them), to talk about boundaries, and to have them find examples from their own lives of songs and media images that promote unhealthy relationships. To help them recognize red flags we have to interrupt the areas in which these behaviors and attitudes are normalized.If I may, I'd also like to respectfully ask that we are very careful in our choice of language when talking about teens and dating violence. I think calling any survivor, including teens shattered victims that we have to deal with can come across as disrespectful and saying that teens find behaviors cute can seem trivialing. Many teens believe very strongly that they are in love with their partners, and may mistake controlling and abusive behavior for passion. In order to be heard by the teens we are hoping to serve, we need to respect their feelings and where they are at. Working with adults who are trying to address teen dating violence with they youth they work with, I always mention the particular barrier/obstacle we have to be aware of: that teens are often expecting to be shut down and silenced by adults, and far too often this is the case. It is integral that we establish trust in the classroom or oneone with teens, and part of that comes from how we address and reflect their own language about their relationships and take seriously their hopes, doubts, and fears that may be preventing them from leaving the relationship or reaching out for help.
 
2.  Candice Hopkins
 The portrayals of abuse often used are not reflective of teens. Using language and descriptions of abuse that include technology and gradual escalation of abuse will help teens see themselves. It is subtle - not a sudden thing. The reality of high school is also a large part of the disconnect we hear. Behaviors are normalized and romantacized particularly possessive behaviors. A site called bom411 created by Blue Shield of CA Foundation does a good job of showcasing that side a relationship. What is crazy and what is healthy? More focus on healthy relationships is good. What should a relationship look like rather than what is abusive seems to be a good place to start discussions and then identify teens who may not be aware of what is abuse.
 
3.  Corina
 Yes, I agree and wonder the same thing. Teens thinking it will never happen to them. Teens will admit to the RED FLAG behaviors such as jelousy, but think it is cute.
 
 
I do community outreach with Family Crisis Center (domestic violence services). I specifically work with teens on dating abuse and healthy relationships on a monthly basis. What are some unique barriers that teens face while making up a safety plan, that perhaps an adult would not face? And what is a way that I can address these barriers with the teens?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 Teens really do have unique safety issues because of their circumsatnaces. Schools-a teen has to go to the same place as their abuser for 8 hours a day. The schools have rules and any changes in routine are impacted by the routine of the school. In addition the loss of the technology an abuser may use against a teen is often the biggest prohibition to reaching out. The loss of a cell phone will stop a teen from telling their parents about threats. How can a teen be empowered to tell their parents or to use the rules of the technology for themselves. Reputation-based threats are a barrier that is unique to teens. They will be in the same enviroment with the abuser and within the same social group often. Threats of bad mouthing and outing should be taken seriously and addressed like a threat to physical safety. the web site www.thatsnotcool.org by FVPF addresses some of the new ways technology is being used and can help a teen see behaviors as inappropriate and offers safety planning specifically for technologies like social networking sites and cell phone pictures.
 
 
Are there any shelters for teen victims of domestic violence? I work for a domestic violence agency in the SF Bay Area & we have a shelter but unless the teen is emancipated, we cannot accept them. For teens with little or no family support, this may mean living off the street or going to a homeless shelter - not exactly the safest place for a teen in general & especially for those in abusive situations. Thank you, Susan
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Because of teens' legal status, safety planning can be especially difficult to implement.Based on feedback from teen users of the Helpline, we are wondering how much teen victims of dating abuse are requesting shelter, or if there might be better interventions for them (and intervetions they might prefer)? In any case, teens have a right to be safe and to be housed and this need must be addressed, probably at the level of policy as well as community.In most localities, the situation is similar to your community. What happens is that organizations that have an interest in serving teens come together and assess shelter options that might be available and appropriate to a minor victim in a crisis and establish service coordination protocols before the situation arises again.
 
 
What are some techniques teens can use in the school they attend if the perpetrator is there as well?
 
1.  Jeffrey Kohl
 Tied in with this problem is the problem of harassment and threats to victims in school by the friends of the perp. There often is a pattern of disinformation and blaming the victim.
 
2.  Candice Hopkins
 This is an extremely common situation we hear from teens. Our initial questioning is around the amount of interaction the teen has with their perpetrator--are the in the same gradeclasses? Does the perpetrator wait for them between classes? Also, how big is their campus? As far as safety planning, we often suggest options such as changing class schedules, changing routine (walking different routes between classes, for instance), leaving school right away at the end of the day rather than sticking around---basically doing whatever they can to remove opportunities for the perpetrator to access them. Teens can also use the support of their friends, by having someone with them whenever possible--perpetrator is less likely to harass them in the presence of others.
 
 
I find it very difficult at times as an education coordinator getting into schools to even discuss the risks of teen dating violence, safety planning and area resources for help. Any suggestions on getting into the school systems?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 School systems are difficult. One new thing is a push by the Attorney Generals to address teen dating abuse. Check out the naag site and the MADE campaign by Liz Claiborne. There is also the work by Texas you can find at tcfv.org in the Prevention section. This legislation requires school districts to have a policy. Our work to help the schools meet this need has fostered a better access point. In addition youth groups might be a good way into a school. Does your state have a student council org that assigns projects. Could the project be teen dating abuse education? Can you engage the local cheer leaders to do a project. What can the teens locally do? In addition what does your state coalition have as a state-wide plan for addressing teen dating abuse and prevention? The message of healthy dating has been the most beneficial way to frame the conversation for us as we reach out to schools.
 
 
With regards to Primary Prevention programs in a teen group environment, how should you encourage bystander intervention with the perpetrator if the perpetrator is a friend of the bystander?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 If teaching or presenting a program and asking teen bystanders to call out a negative or abusive behavior the goal should be about questioning the behavior and really focusing on what are the social mores of the group. What is acceptable behavior? Can the bystanders focus on behaviors rather than identificiation of abuse. Acceptance of name calling and methods of control can be questioned too. When presenting to teens in a large urban high school we focused on dress-gettign the group to voice how common and acceptable it was for a young man to tell his partner how to dress started a conversation. The friends all stated that was uncool but did not now how to say that. It was about the behavior and being able to voice a concern in a highly stratified setting. This is a common concern for the friends who contact the Helpline. Advocates really focus on behaviors and coaching language.
 
 
I work with teenage girls who are incarcerated. Many of them grow up watching their mothers and other females treated this way. Any suggestions on how to encourage them that they deserve more than that? Many of them were abused by the males in their life and feel like this is their role.
 
1.  MCiarlante
 In addition to advocacy/counseling and psycho-educational support groups, engaging young people in community action/service that addresses victimization will build leadership skills, competencies, build their understanding of the dynamics of victimization as they raise other's awareness, and re-inforce learning by creating opportunities to practice it.For example, we've worked with at least 75 communities around the country where youth and adult organized outreach campaign or events on teen victimization issues. Youth will be better able to internalize and practice what they learn about their rights to be safe, strong, and free.
 
2.  Souk
 Finding a girl or women who has been through same situations and got out of it, as these girls to encourage them. These girls will not believe or trust someone who does not know how it feels or understand what its like.
 
 
What paths would you reccomend taking if a parent is uncooperative or resistant to safety planning? Do you feel that parental/familial support and compliance is necessary in safety planning for teens? Additionally, how can it be dealt with if siblings, for example are sympathetic to the abuser and uncooporative in safety planning?
 
1.  Candice Hopkins
 This is difficult and not uncommon. The Helpline teaches and focuses advocates on a personal safety plan with the teen. What is in their control? Schools, and families have rules based on the victim simply beign a teen so changing those systems is difficult. Can instead a teen alter their behaviors? Are there other sources of support available including the peer group? Advocates ask for specifics and when abuse or contact is occurring so they talk about all the variables. Safety planning for a teen is a powerful way to empower them, they get to say what they would do to be safe. If framed this way even without side forces impacting the situation they have some control and hope. A common issues is the feelings of lack of ability to impact the situation or any of their situations.... Can a safety plan address those areas where a teen can control things like turning the cell phone off or on or accepting a new friend on Facebook?
 
 
Do you know of any good presentations or curricula on dating violence for orientation of first year college students,for both men and women?
 
1.  Amber
 You may want to look into the Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education (WAVE) Program at New Mexico State University www.nmsu.edu/wave. It is a peer education program whose target audience is at risk college students, notably freshman. The program uses peer educators as well as cirriculum infusion in general education courses to address sexual assault and interpersonal violence on campuses.
 
2.  Candice Hopkins
 A program that addresses violence and sexual assault issues using interactive theatre is offered by an organiaton called Voices Against Violence on the campus of the University of Texas-Austin. Using small group discussions they present to community groups, sororities, and student organizations. The style and methods really start dialogue and engage young people. It is interactive and driven by other young people using realistic situations. You can check it out at http://cmhc.utexas.edu/vav.html Other groups have used student produced Vagina Monologues as a way to introduce sexual and relationship violence, with it being youth produced conversations increase. In general most of the curriculum is aimed at teens and younger, but Jackson Katz work is aimed at collegiate level. That is something to look into.
 
 
We have large numbers of young girls (high school) and older men impregnating these girls as a means of control. Also lack of policing - typical reservation. How can we get these young ladies to understand that they will be used by these older men and cast off very soon?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Perhaps by taking a community-wide approach at changing attitudes so that it will not be so normal or 'acceptable for the older men to prey upon teens.Also, we have found that more youth (of all genders) are interested in joining a community action group to make change than to join a group to learn something for their own good. On our Web site at www.ncvc.org/tvp, check out our toolkit for starting a Teen Action Partnership community change project to address victimization AND click on the YOVA (Youth Outreach for Victim Assistance) project links to see what teens have done in their own communities, including on the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon where teens (male and female) partnered with law enforcement, victim servics, and school to confront sexual abuse!
 
 
There seem to be a variety of ways that domestic violence shelters handle whether/how to address sheltering teens. Technically, there's the argument that minors can't be sheltered b/c their parents have to be informed (and that violates confidentialty), but, realistically this isn't always the case (as when, though a minor, a teen has, for example, had a child, lived with the father, etc.) Do you have any clarity and/or model policies or practice with regards to this issue?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Yes, identifying the relevant laws and policies that need to be considered and the needs that need to be balanced, is complicated. While we recommend clarifying orgnaizational policies on services to youth with minor legal status, we are hearing from the Helpline that few victims of teen dating violence are inquiring about residential shelter. We (as a field) need to learn how great a need this is for teen victims, and then assess the best (safest, most teen-friendly, developmentally appropriate) way to ensure this need is met.
 
 
How would you suggest Crisis Center educators get into the school systems. With the No Child Left Behind act I find it difficutlt to get in the schools .
 
1.  MCiarlante
 I believe there may be another post that addresses this, too. Look for allies and for places in the curricula that might be a better fit, such as life skills education.Also, find out where else teens are in your community! Maybe Boys and Girls Clubs? Some of the most successful stories I've heard were when the request for outreach and education on victimization came from the students. I encourage you to assess the level of youth involvement in your Crisis Center and build relationships with youth as equal partners and allies in the work.
 
 
What are your thoughts on "Sexting" and the case in Pennsylvania regarding kids being charged with child pornography for sending nude & semi nude photos to each other through their cell phone?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Cellphones, social networking sites, texts, and other media are being used to harass and abuse others. Each offense must be assessed individually. I think it is challenging for our responses to keep pace with the emerging uses of technology and we sometimes try to make existing laws, policies, and interventions fit in places where they may not. Responses need to be first and foremost sensitive to victims and victim safety; teens need to be held accountable for inappropriate behavior and provided with re-education, but we also want to see responses for teen offenders that are developmentally-appropriate.We need to talk with teens about appropriate and inappropriate use of technology and, like other social interactions, adults have responsibility for monitoring, supervising, and redirecting inappropriate behavior.
 
 
What type of male mentorship programs are available to school staff and student body to influence the collective male socialiation of young men?
 
1.  Jess
 Please tell me more about the MVP Program. I am having a difficult time locating information on the internet, as there are so many meanings for MVP.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 There are some curricula taking the social norming approach you describe. I am going to refer you to check out Men Can Stop Rape and the MVP Program as notable programs. From the MVP Web site description: Unlike prevention efforts that target young men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, MVP has the potential to expand dramatically the number of young men willing to confront the issue of men's violence against women. This is a result of the MVP philosophy of working with men as empowered bystanders - not against them as potential perpetrators.
 
 
considering who is best qualified, most accessible and relevant to conduct safety planning with teens - are we teaching those folks how safety planning is done most effectively? seems to me family, friends, social groups need to be in the advocacy loop. we gotta keep it real. institutional ized responses too often miss the mark.
 
1.  Mitru Ciarlante
 The Youth Initiative of the National Center for Victims of Crime is proud to announce our Web training and teleconference, The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, Wednesday, February 25, at 2:00 p.m., ET. Helpline Director Candice Kesling Hopkins and peer advocates will share tools with victim assistance providers and allied professionals on safety planning, age appropriate services, and the Helplines unique application of the crisis intervention model. Registration is free, but spots are limited. We encourage multiple participants attending from the same location to register as one person and participate in the training together. To register or to access training materials, visit https://ncvc.webex.com For assistance, please contact Mitru Ciarlante 202-467-8743 or mciarlante@ncvc.org.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Ideally, safety planning would not happen in isolation from the community you listed. Safety planning could become family, friends, school community, and others holding people accountable for their violent behaviors.
 
3.  MCiarlante
 You raise a good point: one caution about safety planning is not to approach it as another forum for making making victims responsible for their own safety and/or the violence.
 
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