Teen dating abuse in america
The four-page questionnaire was sent in the 2015-16 year to 750 randomly selected public-school principals, with a 54 percent response rate.Although a majority of high-school principals (57 percent) had assisted a teen dating-violence victim in the past two years, more than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) said they lacked formal training, and a majority (62 percent) reported that teachers and staff in their schools hadn’t been recently trained, either.Bob Farrace, the public-affairs director for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said he encourages high-school principals to take an honest and transparent look at their own data, identify the trends in teen dating violence incidents, and address them appropriately.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.“Our schools need to be safe havens for all students, and it is critical that we provide school leaders with tools and resources to help them become stronger partners in reducing teen dating violence and other forms of gender-based violence… Like bullying, teen dating violence has far-reaching consequences for the health and life outcomes of victims. All of this negatively affects academic achievement.Yet in the face of mounting evidence of harm—and several decades of research and analysis—addressing teen dating violence remains a low priority in public schools, according to a new report published in the peer-reviewed journal For the study, researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of high-school principals on their knowledge of teen dating violence—defined in the study as verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse—as well as their schools’ policies, and their beliefs about the role of school personnel in both preventing dating abuse and assisting victims.
Victims of dating abuse are also more likely to experience depression and anxiety, and to consider suicide, than their non-abused peers.
De Leon, who has seen her peers being physically and emotionally abusive to one another, now recognizes the red flags—and she wants more support for victims from the adults in her school building.“I think we have to start with the principals at the schools, because they’re the leaders,” she said.
“That way we can have trust in them [and] come to them if we’re in that situation.”Lindsay Stawick, who directs the Domestic Violence Network’s youth programming, said most inquiries for dating-violence-prevention training come from teachers—at De Leon’s high school, for its part, it was a social worker.
“If they choose not to take action, for me, they are a bystander.”The study exposed multiple instances of high-school principals seemingly misinformed or uninformed on teen dating violence.
For example, respondents were most likely to assume that counselors and parents are preferable to students’ peers in assisting victims.