Dating violence education in schools

“If we are to shift youth attitudes and behaviors related to teen dating violence, it is vital to work to change the environments in which youth are living.” Dating Matters is unique in that it targets multiple risk and protective factors for teen dating violence, including engaging the important adults in the lives of youth like parents and teachers in prevention efforts, said Katie Edwards of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

The following resources help to equip child welfare professionals with information on how to prevent and respond to teen dating violence. The goal of the program, called "Dating Matters," is to give young people, their families and their communities prevention strategies to help prevent teen dating violence. Many prevention programs target older teens, and often involve high school students being lectured in health classes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (bit.ly/2WNLxw D), focuses on teaching 11-to-14 year-olds healthy relationship skills before they start dating and on reducing behaviors that increase the risk for dating violence like substance abuse and sexual risk-taking.Compared to students in schools with just standard prevention, youth at schools that used the comprehensive Dating Matters program were 8.3% less likely to perpetrate teen violence, 9.8% less likely to be victims and 5.5% less likely to use negative conflict resolution strategies, the study found.“This study shows that teaching young people the skills they need to engage in respectful, healthy relationships makes it less likely that they will perpetrate or be victims of dating violence,” said lead study author Phyllis Holditch Niolon of the CDC.

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According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men experience domestic violence by the time they are adults.

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