Responding to Teen Victims of Dating Violence
Mitru Ciarlante, Barri Rosenbluth  -  2008/2/27
http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
Hi, All, We in New Mexico recently celebrated our first statewide teen dating violence awareness and prevention week and developed a great toolkit http://sde.state.nm.us/div/sipds/health/dl08/New%20Mexico%20Teen%20Dating%20Violence%20Toolkit%20Final.pdf. We are looking for national partners to speak with about their process in collecting data in their states on TDV.
 
1.  Lj
 I feel the toolkit is great that so many are involved in making it something thatcan be shared and used for all of us. I have worked with teen girls in Indian country and use information and ideas that are culturally specific and always looking for something new to use. I have purchased books for my trainings and have taken the approach of Healthy Realationship; as most of the time is missing from our teens. If they do not know what a healthy relationship looks like than maybe the negative is a easy answer. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.
 
2.  Nikki
 I think that it is great that there is starting to be toolkits around. I work in rural South Dakota and teen dating violence is a topic that I have been trying to get into the schools. Having area students take surveys and showing that this topic is around, I have finally gotten the schools to start listening to the neen but the next step is finding the curriculum that the schools will approve and these toolkit are my way of doing that. Thank you for your time into making those kits.
 
3.  BRosenbluth
 The Texas Council on Family Violence conducted a state-wide survey in 2006 finding that 1 in 2 Texas teens reported having experienced dating violence personally and 3 in 4 reported having experienced dating violence or knowing someone who has. For more information and to learn about The Red Flags Campaign, please visit http://www.tcfv.org/resources/red-flags Congratulations on your New Mexico toolkit? Please take a look at the Texas Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Toolkit at http://www.healthyteendating.org
 
4.  Melissa
 Thank you for sharing your toolkit. I think it will be very useful in our current high school and middle school programs.
 
5.  MCiarlante
 I agree that this is an important national conversation for discussing the data collection process as well as prioritizing what information we need to gather to help inform our responses to teen dating violence. 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 these discussions and learn about other national partners addressing these challenges in the minutes from the June 2006 meeting: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/violence-against-women/workshops/teen-dating.htm - NIJ held a second workshop, Teen Dating Violence: Developing a Research Agenda to Meet Practice Needs, in December 2007. Currently, all public and private schools with students in at least one of grades 912 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia participate in the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) that includes sections on dating violence and sexual victimization. State and local agencies that conduct a YRBS can add or delete questions to meet their policy or programmatic needs. Find more at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/SS/SS5505.pdf
 
 
What programs, services, and supports are you aware of that meet the needs of teens with developmental disabilities who are victims of dating violence?
 
1.  Jean
 Thank you!
 
2.  BRosenbluth
 Teens with developmental disabilities also need sexuality education to help them understand their own bodies and sexual development. This would include learning about their sexual rights, respecting the sexual rights of others, words to communicate about body parts and sexuality, and what to do if they feel uncomfortable or have been violated in some way. For more information about specialized approaches and curricula for children and teens with disabilities, please contact Wendie Abramson, Disability Services Director for SafePlace, (512) 356-1599 or WAbramson@SafePlace.org or visit www.SafePlace.org.
 
3.  MCiarlante
 We recognize that while victim service providers should be providing programs and services to all victims, including people living with disabilities, many advocates express a need for more training, resources, and materials to help teens with developmental disabilities/differences and other underserved groups. Dr. Karen Rogers, Program Area Leader for Project Heal, the trauma treatment and training program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) Mental Health Services/University of Southern California University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD), recently provided a training for our Teen Victim Initiatives free online series, supported by a grant awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Rogers explained the interface between culture, developmental disabilities, and youth victimization by reviewing ecological risk factors faced by youth with developmental disabilities and presenting an intervention model. The presentation, Teens with Developmental Disabilities: Victimization, Risk, and Interventions, and related materials may be downloaded from http://www.ncvc.org/tvp/main.aspx?dbID=DB_TeenTA151. A resource specifically discussing the needs of teens with developmental disabilities who are victims of dating violence can be found at the Web site of the New York State Administration for Childrens Services, Domestic Violence Policy and Planning office. Their document, Practice Guidelines for Addressing Teen Relationship Abuse in Foster Care Settings, by Heather McLain, includes a chapter titled Teens with Disabilities and Relationship Abuse. It is available at http://www.preventchildabuseny.org/conf07/handouts/b1_teen_fc_guidelines.doc.Find a list of other resources and links on disability and victimization at http://www.bflnyc.org/expertise_dvweb.asp.
 
 
I work for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center in Prevention Education. What misinformation, particularly among adults, do you find most prevalent or concerning in terms of teen dating and/or teen dating violence. What up to date facts do you share to educate? We not only confront the myths about sexual violence by many 'myths' about teen agers and modern-day dating when working with parents and administrators of high schoolers.
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Parents who have a close relationship with their teen may feel that their teen will tell them if they experience abusive behavior from a dating partner. However, many teens report that they would be unlikely to speak to a parent or other adult about dating abuse and would be more likely to tell a friend. It is helpful to remind parents that teens are developmentally in the process of pulling away from parents and may choose not to discuss dating or relationship issues with them. Therefore, it is so important for youth to receive education on healthy dating from other sources including adults and youth who have positive influences in their lives.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 The National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NCJRS, has created a Teen Dating Violence Special Feature, http://www.ncjrs.gov/teendatingviolence/. This special feature contains links to publications and related resources that provide information about dating violence among teens. -Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
We know that if a teen victim of sexual violence shares their experience, it is most likely with a peer. As well, for various reasons teens do not access services such as hotlines, school or private counselors, family etc even when aware of their existence. From the national perspective what trends do you see in terms of what resources teens access and utlize?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Thanks, Erin. We will respond to your question within the week. - Mitru
 
2.  Erin
 As you said above, teens are concerned with confidentiality and reporting. I'm interested to know how programs handle the issue of confidentiality with teens? Are there standards for what information will be communicated to parents (specifically for teen clients whose parents do not know they are utilizing these services).
 
3.  BRosenbluth
 For nearly two decades SafePlace has provided school-based support groups for youth in abusive dating relationships or at risk due to family violence. These educational, support groups are part of the Expect Respect program. The Expect Respect groups are particularly effective in meeting the needs of vulnerable youth by building social support and providing opportunities to learn and practice healthy relationship skills. In Austin, the support groups are advertised to youth in schools through posters and to school personnel through faculty orientation. A school counselor or social worker on each campus makes referrals to the program and youth can also refer themselves or their friends. To learn more about Expect Respect please visit www.SafePlace.org.We have found that teens do seek out and utilize these groups, some for more than one school year. They provide ongoing support that is easy to access and confidential.
 
4.  MCiarlante
 In 2008, teens say that it in some households it is difficult to get access to a phone to call a help line. Many parents opt to use cell phones and there is no phone available to children and teens when they are home alone and they would have to ask permission to use someones phone (and minutes) to access a phone helpline. There are now more resources for teens who prefer text messaging and instant messaging and do have access. The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline is a great model offering real-time one-on-one support from trained Peer Advocates via online chats, email, and help lines at 1-866-331-9474 (1-866-331-8453 TTY) (available 247). Chat on-line at www.loveisrespect.org from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (CST) daily. Break the Cycle offers direct services to teens. thesafespace.org provides a meeting place and exhaustive resource for teens seeking information and support. Youth can ask confidential and specific questions online and over the phone. BTC guides them through the legal system and help them find appropriate support in their local community. http://www.breakthecycle.org Womens Law at womenslaw.org can give teens useful legal information and direct them to others who can help via their email Legal Hotline. The National Center for Victims of Crime Helpline includes a referral database of over 12,000 providers of help for all victims of all crimes. Contact us for help, information about your options, and referrals to local services anywhere in the country. (Serving victims in more than 150 languages.)Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 8:30 pm ET at 1-800-FYI-CALL (394-2255) or our TTY line, 1-800-211-7996 or Email us at gethelp@ncvc.org (Due to the large volume of e-mails we receive, we recommend calling.)
 
5.  MCiarlante
 The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the National Center for Victims of Crime, Because Things Happen Every Day. The discussion guide and the companion 20-minute video are designed to foster a greater understanding of the impact of crime and violence on teens and the obstacles teens face in seeking help. The video features two innovative programs including SafePlace --that have been effective in reaching and responding to teen victims through the use of peer leadership, in-school support groups, one-on-one counseling, and hotlines. View the video at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/files/ric/CDROMs/NCVCTeenVic/Video/NCVCvideo.mpg.The discussion guide is available on COPS Web site at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/files/ric/Publications/teenvguide_ncvc.pdf.Contact the COPS Office about a closed-captioned version, 800.421.6770 or email askCopsRC@usdoj.gov.Purchase the video with discussion guide ($25, AV102ab; DVD or VHS) through the National Centers store, http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbID=DB_EducationalVideos287, or call 202-467-8762, or email jtsog@ncvc.org.
 
6.  MCiarlante
 When teens are victims of crime or abuse, there are many and varying reasons why they may be reluctant to seek help from parents and other adults including fear of the offender, fear of blame, shame, mandated reporting laws and parent notification policies, autonomy concerns that control and confidentiality will be lost. Some studies and anecdotal knowledge state that teens are more likely to confide victimization to a peer, but there are also other studies and anecdotal information that indicate youth would like to have adult support. For instance, youth who identified as African American were more likely to seek help from adult family members than from friends in a study by B. Black and A. Weisz, Dating violence: Help-seeking behaviors of African American middle schoolers. (2003) Violence Against Women, 9, 187-206.accesed online at http://vaw.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/2/187?ck=nck. We need to collaborate with youth to learn more about what adults can do to be judged trustworthy and helpful by teens so that more teens will choose to get help with victimization. Some teens say that when adults in schools, neighborhoods, and community centers witness abusive behavior, telling seems unnecessary. They assume the adult sees and knows the teen is being abused. When adults fail to interrupt abuse, hold people accountable for violent behavior, fail to reach out to victimized teens, youth may come away believing there is no adult help or support for them. Adults and teens need more education about how to recognize abuse, interrupt it, and help victims. -Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
I work with runaway/homeless or otherwise out of the home teens. They face many issues that youth living in thier homes do not. How have you seen these differences manifest themselves in responding to teen victims. Also do you have any suggestions on how to talk with these teens DV?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 For more information about domestic violence and dating violence in the lives of runaway and homeless youth, please see http://www.1800runaway.org/news_events/third.html and http://www.serve.org/nche/downloads/uy_lit_review.pdf
 
2.  BRosenbluth
 The Texas Network of Youth Services and SafePlace are creating a Guide for Addressing Teen Dating Violence with Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY)in Texas. This Guide will provide strategies for training RHY and DV providers on the overlapping issues, suggestions for screening and conducting risk assessment and safety planning, policies concerning responding to incidents and disclosures, and programs to engage RHY in support groups and leadership training. This project is part of a national initiative. For more information please contact the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence at www.nrcdv.org
 
3.  MCiarlante
 Teens who are struggling to meet their every day survival needs are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and may depend on others for food, shelter, clothes, etc. Its important that advocates remain nonjudgmental, open listeners to understand how the young person is prioritizing herhis needs and to understand what she is asking from us. Challenges in working together include transience, access issues, the difficulty of safety planning andor following through with plans in an unstable environment. We can work effectively with runaway/homeless teen victims by recognizing their resilience and strengths and continuing to be a source of accurate information about rights and options. -MCiarlante
 
 
At what age should you begin to teach kids about dating violence specifically?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Most youth begin dating or having boyfriend/girlfriend-like relationships around 6th grade and violence can occur in their earliest relationships. Choose Respect, a primary prevention initiative developed by the CDC, targets youth ages 11-14 and the caring adults in their lives with positive messages about healthy, respectful dating relationships. We have used these materials successfully for over 3 years with students in 6th through 12th grades. It is helpful to be inclusive of dating and peer relationships when you introduce the topic, particulary with younger students as the quality of their relationships with friends sets the stage for future intimate relationships. I also recommend having support services available if possible (school-based support groups, counseling, referral)whenever prevention education is provided so that students who are experiencing dating abuse or related issues can get help immediately.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 The dialog continues through the lifespan as we develops socially and cognitively, but the consistent messages are about keeping our rights to be safe, strong, and free without stepping on another's rights to do the same.Be aware that even older high school students tell us that they don't relate to the term dating, but they are very interested in exploring the issues of power and control in relationships, jealously, mutuality, and other values that adolescents are defining during development.In Head Start (pre-school) it begins with agreeing that hand are not for hitting and learning body rights concepts. In K-12 teachers and school nurses organize Kindness Days and children's art exhibits on Peace Begins at Home. In elementary and middle schools, counselors run pro-social friendship groups and lunches to re-direct antisocial behavior; we addressing freeing friendships (non-possessive, bullying, and harrassment.
 
 
Adolescence is a period of time where the internal changes are difficult enough to deal with. What do you believe is the best way for parents and professionals to help teens open up about dating violence? For example, if they grew up witnessing inter family violence what special programs are necessary to educate them of the necessity of reporting such crimes. As we know, even adult victims under report many crimes.
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Youth who have experienced domestic violence are at greater risk for becoming victims and perpetrators in their own relationships. These youth may have difficulty trusting others and learning to manage the emotions that come with dating relationships. They need opportunities to build trusting, supportive relationships with adults and peers. I strongly believe that while education on healthy relationships and warning signs of abuse is important for all youth, those who are most vulnerable need more-that is interventions that mentor youth and provide ongoing support for learning and practicing relationship skills.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 The desire for autonomy during adolescence may be one reason some teens are reluctant to talk about teen dating violence. A psycho-educational approach is very empowering because it provides information about the normalization of violence and understanding interpersonal violence in an ecological framework. When we approach teen victims as allies and partners in problem-solving such as in peer education and youth activism teens may be more comfortable making personal connections to the information they are learning and realize that we can make personal changes while we work to improve the world around us. Adults might find opportunities like candlelight vigils, movies about domestic violence, books, teen autobiographies and other conversation-starters to generate a discussion about these issues. To engage the youth, keep the conversation honest and direct, but not interrogatory.-Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
I currently work for a domestic violence agency as a community outreach coordinator, I have been working with the safe dates curriculum, at a day reporting school there is 5 children at this school, they are gang affiliated, and all they know, use, and talk about is violence. How do I work with these kids, and teach them what violence is, and what is safe, and how to build healthy relationships. These kids are unresponsive, and would rather, beat up someone, then learn new ways. The kids ages range from 13 to 17 years. If you are familiar with the Safe Dates Curriculum, is it attended for use with these types of children, and if so how do you suggest on adapting it towards them?
 
1.  Buffy
 Hi...I also use Safe Dates in middle & high schools classes. I'm not sure it is really what you are looking for. How to you present the program? In classes, so you would have other students in the same class? Or would they be in a dedicated class with just them in the class?
 
 
I am trying to get into the public schools in my rural area. They seem to be hesitant on this with the no child left behind, and state testing. They say that there is no real time or class for Teen Dating Violence awareness or curriculum. Do you have any suggestions for this?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 You are not alone. Class time for dating violence prevention is limited in most places. Have you tried offering other services such as training for teachers and counselors, parent seminars, support groups for at risk youth (youth at greater risk due to violence in dating or family relationships)? Schools may be more willing to allow you to provide this service for youth who have dating/sexual/domestic violence issues. Please check out the Expect Respect program at www.safeplace.org for more ideas. I also recommend offering to conduct a school-wide awareness campaign using Choose Respect, a primary prevention initiative developed by the CDC. This is a good way to educate the entire school population (as well as engaging other community partners)without putting all the burden on classroom teachers to give up class time. Visit www.chooserespect.org for more information and to download videos and materials.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 It may be helpful to start by learning if there are established school groups or curricula that address any related issues. If so, teaming up to add more specific information about teen dating violence may work. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SAAD), and the 4-H all have worked on victimization issues in schools. Check their Web sites and your school directory for more information. It seems to be most effective when a collaborative of students, parents, faculties and community supporters approach schools together.
 
 
What information did you include in the school policies regarding teen dating violence? Did you include teen dating violence as part of a bigger Title IX policy? Is there a place where we can obtain a sample school policy on this issue?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Also note related law and policy on stalking, sexual harassment, and bullying:State bullying laws 02 http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/HHS_PSA/pdfs/SBN_Tip_6.pdf Sometimes anti-bullying policy can be implemented to help a teen dating violence victim based on the abusive behaviors matching the criteria for bullying. Such an incident can demonstrate the need for policy and protections specifically for teen dating violence.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 This document inludes a review of school law and policy related to victimization. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Law and the Publics Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. A CDC review of school laws and policies concerning child and adolescent health. Journal of School Health. 2008;78(2):69127p.p. 106-1094. Violencea. Federal and State Laws AddressingSchool Violence State-Based Protections.
 
3.  MCiarlante
 We are going to post several resources for this question. Please check back!A Guide to Addressing Teen Dating Violence andSexual Assault in a School Setting (Hyperlink)(February 2008)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. Letter to School Principals, Administrators and Safety Personnel from Nancy Matson, Director, Attorney General's Crime and Violence Prevention Center
 
 
How do you respond to teens who say that all of their friends are in controlling and/or violent relationships, thus it must be normal?
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Peer education and youth leadership on these issues is so effective! Teens can talk to teens to deconstruct these beliefs. One study indicated that having friends in violent relationships predicted later inflicting dating violence for both males and females, and becoming the victim of dating violence for females. In fact, this was more influential than the effects of witnessing parental domestic violence. (X. B. Arriaga and Vangee A. Foshee 2004. Adolescent dating violence: Do adolescents follow in their friends, or their parents, footsteps? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(2), 162-184.) Obviously, we must continue to change the toleranceacceptance of abusive behaviors.As an advocate/educator, I respond by shifting the conversation away from what is normal or common and instead explore the teens values with them. We talk about the qualities we value in a friendship - what do you look for in a friend? We explore concepts of shared power and mutuality in friendship and ask questions about why we wouldn't want those same qualities in a dating or intimate relationship.We also explore other ecological influences society, culture, media to learn how teens are getting the idea that controlling and violent relationships are normal. Mitru Ciarlante
 
2.  BRosenbluth
 I've heard this from youth and adults. We have begun using the see saw metaphor to explain that while power may shift back and forth in a relationship, the goal is to keep it balanced over time so that neither partner is always up nor down.
 
 
I am a Domestic Violence Paralegal and handle all domestic violence arraignments in my locality. I am thinking about speaking to teen age girls @ a local high school about dating relationships. What grade would benefit most from this topic?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 The CDC recommends starting early to promote positive relationships and identification of warning signs with youth as young as 11. Visit www.chooserespect.org for info. Even before they begin dating youth are forming their attitudes about what it means to be in a relationship and expectations for how partners should treat one another. If you want to speak to students in high school I suggest starting with 9th grade and be sure to address both the boys and the girls with the same messages--Healthy relationships look like...Abusive relationships look like.... Let them define these terms for themselves. Then you can provide information about legal consequences, legal options, and help resources.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Thank you for your work! There are various ways to frame the presentation for different age groups. I think high schoolers would find the legal aspects interesting, especially if it is framed to give them information and support about their rights. There is a need for awareness and education at every level, of course. It might be effective to start addressing a class of students in 9th grade and try to speak with them each year of highschool.
 
3.  Buffy
 I am using a research-based program called Safe Dates from Hazelden Foundation and they recommend talking to teens beginning in middle school, because they may not be dating yet but they are definitely thinking about a future relationship and this is the time to help them consider what a healthy relationship involves and how to recognize the red flags of abuse.
 
 
What recommendations/resources do you suggest for teen victims who are in abusive relationships, and continuously runaway from home at the request of their abuser? What assistance can we provide to the parents of these children?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 I would encourge parents to keep the door open. Let their children know that they can always come home. The National Runaway Switchboard 800-621-4000 may be helpful for youth and parents in this situation.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Most safety plans for young victims of dating violence will be ineffective without support from parents and other household members. Parents need information and suppport about their legal rights, responsibilities, and options for keeping the teen victim safe. A victim advocate would be the best first step to explore this with the parents. What does the teen victim want and need? Is she talking with an advocate or peer support group? There are some issues to be explored.
 
 
Are there any teen dating specific safety plans out there?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Yes, some are longer and some shorter. We have adapted one to include a risk assessment and safety plan which I will attempt to post to this website. In doing safety planning with teens it is most important to establish a trusting relationship by explaining your confidentiality policy and mandatory reporting guidelines at the start. Know that you may not get all the facts in the beginning and that safety for the victim may depend on hisher willingness to ask for help in the future. Keep the lines of communication open. The victim is more likely to come back to you than to call a number on a safety plan.
 
2.  Melissa
 I found a teen safety plan produced by NCDSV (www.ncdsv.org). It look similar to the one that is widely used for adults, but is shorter and not as intimidating, making it teen friendly.
 
 
Are there trends toward Including prostitution and youth sexual exploitation in the spectrum of dating violence experiences? Quite often the exploitive relationship begins in a dating context with a concerted seduction process that makes it very difficult and dangerous for exploited young people to leave their pimps and abusers or seek help for fear that they will be forced to offer evidence against them. With the normalization of transactional sex, survival sex, and varying degrees of engagement in prostitution in youth culture, along with increased attention to human trafficking and youth sexual exploitation in the law enforcement and service provider communities, this seems like important information to address with young people.
 
1.  MCiarlante
 Your question highlights the issues we are still addressing in definition and language. Some use the more-encompassing term IPV - interpersonal violence to recognize that the dynamics of dating violence may include sexual abuse, exploitation, non-physical abuse, etc.
 
2.  BRosenbluth
 You raise an important issue that hasn't been explored much as far as I know. Perhaps this is due to the separation that exists between the sexual and domestic violence fields. We need to better understand the connection between youth sexual exploitation and dating violence. This would help us improve materials and methods for addressing these issues which are inextricably entwined.
 
 
I currently work with 5 children at a day reporting school, all of these children are gang affiliated. I work the with Safe Dates Curriculum. These children learn, live violence and vengeance. I have troubles teaching them what dv is, and how to build healthy relationships. Do you have any suggestions for me?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 The youth in your program likely have multiple risk factors for dating and sexual violence--violence in the home, peer group and community. For these youth, even more than the general population, changing attitudes and behaviors will require learning about healthy relationships by practicing them. Research shows that effective interventions provide youth a positive relationship with a caring adult and opportunities to develop trusting and supportive relationships with peers. Approaches that involve building trusting relationships, using arts-based techniques, and providing ongoing support are most effective.
 
 
I work as an Outreach Coordinator for Kristi House. We provide therapy & case management services for kids who have been sexually abused. As a prevention method, we go out to schools & do presentations for students based on their grade levels. For high school the presentation is on teen dating violence. Is there any advice you have on what we can do to enhance our program?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Please focus your prevention education on developing youth leaders. A presentation by an adult, even a great presentation with the best materials, is unlikely to have an impact on the school culture. We must take a new approach-that of mobilizing youth to make their schools safe and respectful places for all students. Get the art teachers, drama teachers, or other creative people on a campus to sponsor an art show, concert, poetry contest, public service announcement contest, etc. to inspire youth to create their own messages about abuse and respect in dating relationships. What they come up with is far better and more relevant than anything we as adults can do. Your role can be to train the youth leaders on the issues and help them identify the problem they want to address on their campus. You provide some oversight of the messaging and they do the work. They take the lead in educating their peers.
 
 
Who do the victims report to and how often are they formally reported?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Victims often do not report because they do not identify a behavior as violence or abuse, feel as though they deserved it, are afraid of retaliation or losing the relationship, or are too ashamed to tell anyone. Research shows they tell their friends. Knowing this, we can make it easier for teens to report by educating them about dating abuse, responding to incidents effectively that are observed or reported, and making support services available to them-preferably at school where they can be easily accessed. It is also critical that teens know how to help each other and beyond that, that teens model and reinforce positive dating relationships for one another thereby changing social norms that lead to dating violence.The Austin Independent School District adopted a policy concerning dating violence in 2004. The policy includes a complaint form for students, a protocol for investigation, and a school-based stay away agreement. For more information and copies of policy templates please see the Guide for Addressing Dating Violence in Texas Schools posted on this website or the Expect Respect Program Manual available through Safeplace www.SafePlace.org.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Lets first note the difference between help-seeking and reporting. We encourage teens to ask for help from any trusted adult or from a peer who can help get her/him to a trusted adult. Teen victims seek help from parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, nurses, doctors, and many others, especially if the teen views the adult as an authority who may be able to help. Teen victims of dating violence and/or parents or others who witness victimization can report the crimes to the police. In many states, adults are also mandated to report suspected teen dating abuse to Child Protective Services, who may then refer the report to the police. If victimization takes place at an institution such as the teens work place, community organization, or school, those institutions likely have their own reporting procedures through which a victim may ask for protections ad accountability. Ill post reporting statistics later. Thanks! Mitru Ciarlante
 
 
With such a diverse society how can we competently address the needs of all teen victims of dating violence representing a multitude of cultures/religions/national origins/life style choices? I am particularly concerned about dating violence/sexual assaults/domestic violence in immigrant communities.
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Youth have an important role in designing and conducting dating violence prevention activities. They know their own culture and will know the terms, images, music, and other references that will give meaning to the message. I propose engaging youth as leaders in prevention. Even youth who are diverse in some ways share a common youth culture-this is a good beginning place for prevention programming.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 Its difficult to keep trying to be all things to all people year after year and it's not necessary, because many youth and adult community members say that they want to be more involved in their community, but no one has asked them! Partnering with communities of immigrants, new Americans (youth and adults) in the communities we strive to serve is the best way to accomplish our outreach goals. Advocates continue engaging the community as allies, volunteers, and staff in outreach, product development, program evaluation to ensure the most appropriate and accessible approaches. Consider beginning a youth-led component to your work. Our toolkit can help you -- check it out. Teen Action Toolkit, National Center for Victims of Crime - The Teen Action Toolkit is a resource for educators, law enforcement personnel, outreach workers, victim service providers, youth workers, teens, and others for starting a youth-led effort to improve local policies, outreach, and services for teen crime victims. The toolkit provides a blueprint for engaging youth in community problem-solving around the issue of teen victimization. It includes how-to guidance on the four phases of the Teen Action Partnership for Teen Victims program (community assessment, outreach, advocacy, and peer victim service), and includes ideas for activities and reflections.(This file is 1.9 MB (168 pages) and may take several minutes for users to download)Up to five (5) free hard copies can be ordered from the Community Oriented Policing Strategies (COPS) Website. www.cops.usdoj.gov/ric/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=420 ----- http://www.ncvc.org/tvp/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=43492
 
 
After an initial Dating Violence presentation, how can we best alert and educate teens to interupt dating and sexual violence as bystanders?
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Empowering youth to intervene when they witness dating abuse or sexual harassment/assault is key to making abusive behavior unacceptable, uncool and unpopular. So what has to happen for youth to do this consistently? We have to understand what gets in the way and then help them figure out what its going to take to mobilize their peers. The Expect Respect Program developed a youth leadership curriculum called SafeTeens to help youth become role models and leaders. The SafeTeens curriculum can be provided in schools or community settings. It is part of the Expect Respect program and can be purchased through SafePlace at www.safeplace.org.
 
2.  MCiarlante
 To be successful, the first thing I recommend is to engage the students and faculty in answering this question with you, so that we/advocates are making suggestions that they are really willing and able to carry out. If a student bystander seeks help for witnessing abuse in the halls, we want to be sure the adults and institution are also trained to respond properly. A review of school policy and procedure about school-based victimization is in order, and youth may want to make recommendations to improve them. Adult faculty need to be trained about recognizing and responding to victimization on school grounds. Hopefully, peers will be bale to recognize abuse when they see it, name it, seek adult help to intervene, and stick around to support victims. Use our Teen Action toolkit as a guide to youth-led policy assessment and advocacy. http://www.ncvc.org/tvp/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=43492 or www.cops.usdoj.gov/ric/ResourceMain.aspx?RID=420 (This file is 1.9 MB (168 pages) and may take several minutes for users to download)Up to five (5) free hard copies can be ordered from the Community Oriented Policing Strategies (COPS) Website. Other resources: PromoteTruth.org Promote Truth provides support and information about sexual violence issues for teens and their communities. Their Web site offers information and online services, including anonymous use of message boards for targeted audiences: teens, parents, teachers, and other professionals. SeeitandStopit.org This public awareness Web site, maintained by the Teen Action Campaign (TAC), offers facts, statistics, and testimony on teen dating violence and provides information on how teens can get help for themselves or a friend and a toolkit for starting a school organization. In 2004, the TAC partnered with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Ad Council for its Web site launch. A Guide to Addressing Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault in a School Setting (hyperlink)JOURNAL OF SCHOOL HEALTH, VOLUME 78, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 2008 Official Journal of the American School Health Association - SPECIAL LEGAL ISSUE, A CDC Review of School Laws and Policies Concerning Child and Adolescent Health at http://www.ashaweb.org/pdfs/josh782.pdf
 
 
The CDCís Rita Noonan testified to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women that a CDC study found that teen boys and girls report physical relationship abuse in nearly equal numbers. As scientific research corroborates this finding, why does most outreach give no examples of males as targets of dating violence? In the "Choose Respect" video, "CAUSING PAIN: REAL STORIES OF DATING ABUSE AND VIOLENCE" www.chooserespect.org/scripts/materials/videos/video_trans_13min.asp all abusers are male and all victims are female. Wouldn't inclusive outreach, which reflects the documented reality, prevent a wider range of abusive behaviors and protect more young people? Stanley Green Domestic Violence Prevention Men's Health Network
 
1.  BRosenbluth
 Both the scientific research and practice experience indicate that boys and girls use and are the target of abusive and disrespectful behavior in dating relationships. The nature of these behaviors and consequences for victims however are not entirely equal. Still it is important that both boys and girls learn how to have healthy relationships. That is why the Choose Respect video includes an example of a young man who is being abused by a female partner and a young woman who is abusing her male partner. The scenarios in the video are based on real people. Youth have reported that the video accurately depicts common abusive relationship behaviors in teen relationships.
 
 
Do you find many teens making use of court ordered injunctions for protection in states where those are available?
 
1.  mabel
 Based on my experience with Teen victims, it depends on the age and condition of the teen. Often the abusive relationship or violence is reported by friends or parents. If the teen is minimizing or in denial, it is difficult to even get them to go to law enforcement. If the teen is 16, they are considered adults in this state. They have to press charges to get an order of protection. The parent can not initiate it. The school can issue a no contact order while on school premises.
 
2.  BRosenbluth
 The Texas Advocacy Project's Teen Justice Initiative provides legal assistance for teens seeking protective orders. According to program staff, these services are under-utilized. Teens are not aware of their rights or that help is available. Most requests come from teens who have participated in a presentation or learned about the services from an advocate or counselor. Contact www.texasadvocacyproject.org for more information (512) 225-9579 or www.myspace.com/teenjusticeinitiative. Also visit www.ncvc.org and www.breakthecycle.org. The Austin Independent School District adopted a policy concerning dating violence, sexual harassment and bullying in 2005. The policy provides a school-based stay away agreement to increase safety for targeted students at school and school-sponsored activities. Visit www.austinisd.org or contact me directly at brosenbluth@safeplace.org for more information.
 
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