Article on dating abuse

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“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.More than nine in 10 students said that they had had at least one opportunity within the last year to intervene in situations of dating or sexual violence.Most students had more than one opportunity: On average, students reported five episodes in which they could have intervened.But in 37 percent of those cases, students said they chose not to step in.Girls were more likely than boys to intervene, and students who had themselves been victims of sexual violence or dating aggression were more likely to intervene than students without that personal history.

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.

A member of the Domestic Violence Network’s middle- and high-school Youth Network, De Leon plans activities to inform students about unsafe or unhealthy relationships.

She’s also a student leader with the “No More Club,” which seeks to end the silence on dating abuse.

What’s more, some parents have their own misconceptions and myths about dating abuse, such as the belief that partner abuse must be physical by definition.

Only 36 percent of principals included in the study believed that students have a major role in assisting survivors.

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