Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Teen Dating and Sexual Violence Prevention

Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Nearly one-half of adult sex offenders report committing their first sexual offenses prior to the age of 18. In many cases, students are the first to know about instances of abuse at school and away from school grounds.

Schools have the opportunity to integrate teen dating violence prevention education into existing school curricula in many ways.

What schools can do – Teen Dating Violence Prevention Education

• Schools are encouraged to partner with domestic violence and sexual assault organizations to provide prevention education to students.

• Schools can ensure that students have access to supportive services by collaborating with community-based organizations, particularly rape crisis centers and domestic violence service providers. These providers have experience and expertise in teen dating violence and various forms of sexual assault.

• Schools have the opportunity to interrupt the cycle of violence by connecting victims, perpetrators, and bystanders to community services. Schools are strongly encouraged to make these connections and provide facilitated referrals to counseling, advocacy and educational organizations.

• Violence prevention education should be implemented not at the expense of academic achievement, but as a means of ensuring it.

S.H.A.R.E., Inc., Help for Abused Partners, and S.A.R.A., Inc. provide Teen Dating and Sexual Violence Prevention Programs in schools in Northeast Colorado.

Our Teen Dating and Sexual Violence Prevention Education Programs:

• Provide a definition of dating violence or relationship abuse that includes physical, sexual, verbal and emotional or psychological abuse.

• Teach healthy relationship skills and alternatives to abuse.

• Identify power and control issues as they relate to teen dating violence.

• Challenge attitudes that blame the victims.

• Increase empathy for victims/survivors.

• Encourage bystander accountability.

• Challenge social norms that permit or support abuse.

• Are facilitated by a person with expertise who has specialized training in the dynamics of sexual and relationship violence.

Call (970) 867-4444 for more information.