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Teen Dating Violence Prevention Resources

"About one in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. About 72% of students in 8th and 9th grade report "dating." By the time they are in high school, 54% of students report dating violence among their peers." (From
Choose Respect Fact Sheet)

Several years ago, I had the privilege being part of "Team Missouri" in a project for the American Bar Associations' National Teen Dating Violence Prevention Initiative. The resources and materials from this project are available online and some items can also be ordered from the ABA. As part of the initiative, I was able to attend a summit meeting in Washington, D.C. and heard about teen dating violence from the perspective of teen victims,parents, law enforcement, and educators. One result of my involvement was an increased focus on teen dating violence prevention within the FCCLA program "STOP the Violence - Students Taking on Prevention." Many CCLA chapters have done projects for teens, by teens on this important topic. Many FCS educators discuss this topic in their classrooms.

Many times dating violence is dismissed by adults (and law enforcement) because of the ages of the teenagers, because the relationship is not one created by law (marriage), and because in some cases, the laws of the state do not protect teenagers as they do adults who are involved in domestic violence situations. But as is the case of bullying, it seems that teen dating relationship abuse is now being taken more seriously. As a result, there are now more resources available for parents, teenagers, and educators. Here are a few that may be of interest to you.

Love is Not Abuse - comprehensive site for curriculum; handbooks for teens, women, and parents; information on domestic violence in the workplace; and a link to MADE - Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse.

Choose Respect - a national initiative funded through the federal government that now provides resources such as video, posters, pocket guides, and a community action kit.

National Center for Victims of Crime Teen Victim Project- more than just dating violence, this is a comprehensive site for a variety of teen related resources.

The Dibble Institute - provides research based, best practice, developmentally appropriate programs to teach students the skills and knowledge central to building and maintaining healthy relationships. On their website they have protocol for educators and a fact sheet for teens.

There are certainly more resources available and if you know of some great ones, I would be interested in them as well. Another resource that no community should overlook is their local domestic violence center. Many times these centers provide speakers on this topic and are able to share area statistics.

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