Article on dating violence
Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships.“Here was this child who had always been bright; suddenly she doesn’t have the self-esteem to care about herself, her grades or her future.” She tried talking to Sarah, who angrily rejected her suggestion that Joe was a bad influence; she also sent Sarah to a therapist, who suggested Kate and Mark try to understand why they disapproved of their daughter’s choices.One day in January 2005, Joe arrived at school drunk and threw Sarah against a locker.“I was seeing Sarah less and less,” recalls Jeremy Carlson, 18.“It became kind of a joke—that she was too busy with school and crew.” Sarah kept her doubts to herself. “I think it has to do with being in one of the first relationships of your life. It made me feel loved.” But her parents, Kate and Mark, a computer software salesman, were worried.'” When she did find time for pals, there was hell to pay: “My phone would ring and my friends would say, ‘Why don’t you ignore it?
Initially flattered, Sarah gradually grew uneasy with Joe’s possessiveness.The findings also showed that those who experienced some form of dating violence also had a higher prevalence of other health risks like drinking alcohol, using drugs or thinking about suicide.Future research should look at the frequency of violence in teen dating relationships and how that may harm teens’ health, the researchers conclude.The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.Sarah Van Zanten, 15, was lying on the floor, an ice pack on her aching ribs.