Effects of Moms and Teens for Safe Dates: A Dating Abuse Prevention Program for Adolescents Exposed to Domestic Violence

This randomized controlled trial evaluated a dating abuse prevention program designed specifically for adolescents exposed to domestic violence, who are at high risk for dating abuse.

Abstract

Overall, the findings suggest that a dating abuse prevention program designed for adolescents exposed to domestic violence can have important positive effects. Program effects on psychological and physical victimization and psychological and cyber perpetration were moderated by the amount of adolescent exposure to domestic violence; there were significant favorable program effects for adolescents with higher, but not lower levels of exposure to domestic violence. There were no moderated or main effects on sexual violence victimization and perpetration or cyber victimization.

Moms and Teens for Safe Dates consisted of six mailed booklets of dating abuse prevention information and interactive activities. Mothers who had been victims of domestic violence but no longer lived with the abuser delivered the program to their adolescents who had been exposed to the abuse. Mother and adolescent pairs (N = 409) were recruited through community advertising; the adolescents ranged from 12 to 16 years old and 64 percent were female. Mothers and adolescents completed baseline and 6-month follow-up telephone interviews. Booklet completion in the treatment group ranged from 80 percent for the first to 62 percent for the last booklet.

The analyses first tested whether program effects on dating abuse varied by four a priori identified moderators (mother’s psychological health, the amount of adolescent exposure to domestic violence, and adolescent sex and race/ethnicity). Main effects of the program were examined when there were no differential program effects. (Publisher abstract modified)

Source

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Poster Contest Winners

imageThis year cash prize winners out of almost 100 entries in the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Poster Contest are, from left to right: Paige Dunihoo – 3rd place; Jessica Perez – 1st place; Crystal Castillo – 2nd Place. All three are Seniors at Fort Morgan High School.

S.H.A.R.E., Inc. sponsors the poster contest every February during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Area middle and high school students in Fort Morgan, Brush, and Weldona are invited to participate.

The posters are judged by S.H.A.R.E. staff and the winners are announced at their school. Posters are on display at the S.H.A.R.E., Inc. office.

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.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

S.H.A.R.E., Inc. and Help for Abused Partners provide Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationships education for elementary, middle, high school and college students in Northeastern Colorado.

Teen Dating Violence is a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive teen uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior in order to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.

Teens are at high risk as they are beginning to explore dating and intimacy.

Another reason to focus on teens is because the severity of intimate partner violence in adults is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

  • Statistics have shown that teens age 13 to 18 are the least likely group to disclose warning signs or abuse to a friend, family member or trusted adult or to report to the police.
  • More than 1 in 10 teenagers experience physical violence in their dating relationships.
  • 1 in 4 teens report experiencing some type of abuse (physical, verbal, emotional mental, or sexual abuse.)
  • 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by his or her partner through violent actions which included hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, and/or choking.
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been victims of physical abuse in their dating relationships continue to date the abuser.
  • Nearly 20% of teen girls who have been in a relationship said that their boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm in the event of a break-up.
  • Nearly 70% of young women who have been raped knew their rapist; the perpetrator was or had been a boyfriend, friend, or casual acquaintance.
  • The majority of teen dating abuse occurs in the home of one of the partners.

Call S.H.A.R.E., Inc. at (970) 867-4444 for presentations in Kit Carson, Morgan, Washington and Yuma Counties, and Help for Abused Partners at (970) 522-2307 for Logan, Phillips and Sedgwick Counties.

 

 

Gabrielle Giffords: 20 Years After VAWA, There’s Much More Work To Do

Business Leaders Speak At New York Ideas Event

Even though many couples are choosing to marry later in life, our laws haven’t been updated to address dating partner abuse

Some said it would be too hard – impossible, even.

Two decades ago, a broad and brave coalition of determined women’s advocates, domestic violence survivors and fair-minded leaders in Congress set out to do what some said could not be done: pass a law that helped protect women and their families from the scourge of domestic violence.

The proposal, called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), took badly needed steps toward protecting women. It gave judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials new tools to combat violence; it strengthened services for survivors and their families; and, for the first time under federal law, ensured that dangerous individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders couldn’t have easy access to guns.

Still, securing the needed support for the law was no easy fight. There was obstruction, willful misrepresentation, and needless gridlock. Entrenched special interests sprang into action; inaction was their goal.

But Americans made their voices heard, and Congress passed VAWA with the votes of Democrats and Republicans alike. And so, 20 years ago this weekend, then-President Bill Clinton made the Violence Against Women Act the law of the land – a real victory of common sense and courage over the status quo.

Since its passage, VAWA has been a staggering success in making our communities safer. Annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than half. The law has saved lives and kept guns out of the hands of countless domestic abusers.

But 20 years later, there is still more work to do to make women safer from gun violence.

Because of VAWA and subsequent updates to the law, individuals who are under domestic violence protection orders or have misdemeanor domestic violence convictions can’t legally buy or own guns. But even though many couples are choosing to marry later in life, our laws haven’t been updated to address dating partner abuse. And convicted stalkers can still get guns.With such glaring loopholes in our gun laws, guns sometimes fall into the wrong hands – and the results for women are often tragic.

Most of the time, women are murdered with guns by someone they know, either by a family member or an intimate partner, like a former or current husband or boyfriend. In domestic abuse situations, if the abuser has access to a gun, it increases the chance that a woman will die by 500 percent.

This is one reason why American women are 11 times more likely to be shot to death than their peers in other countries, and why more American women were killed by gunfire by a partner between 2001 and 2012 than the total number of American troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

That is not the America we strive for, is it?

That’s why it’s time for Congress to build on the legacy and success of the Violence Against Women Act by closing the loopholes that let dangerous stalkers and abusive dating partners buy guns.

There are several commonsense proposals before Congress right now that would help address the nexus of gun crime and domestic violence – and they would do nothing to limit the rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

In fact, for those of us who own guns and cherish our Second Amendment rights, these laws should be a welcome step. Because every time guns fall into the wrong hands and are used to intimidate, injure, or murder women, it erodes the rights of responsible gun owners everywhere.

Passing these laws wouldn’t prevent every act of gun violence against women, but there is no doubt they would save women’s lives. They are the commonsense thing to do.

Over the last two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has been reauthorized, improved, and updated several times. Sometimes, a small minority of legislators and powerful special interests – standing on the wrong side of history and far out of step with the vast majority of Americans – has fought it.

But each time, Democrats and Republicans have voted for commonsense and safety. And thankfully, each time they have prevailed.

With lots of hard work, and with reasonable Americans making their voices heard, I hope that a similar bipartisan group of leaders can forge the hard but necessary path of making America’s women safer from gun violence.

It won’t be easy. But it will save lives.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is the Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Source

S.H.A.R.E., Inc. Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

As part of our domestic violence prevention activities, S.H.A.R.E., Inc. provides Teen Dating Violence Prevention presentations for middle- and high school students, educators, and parents. Our presentations or classes are tailored to the school and student needs, for example, we offer several sessions using the evidence-based curriculum Safe Dates, a one-hour presentation before student body assemblies, and Healthy Relationships films and questionnaires for college students. We also provide short educational presentations for community groups.

Call us at 867-4444 to arrange presentations.

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over his partner.

Any teen or young adult can experience violence, abuse or unhealthy behaviors in their dating relationships, which may be serious or casual, monogamous or not, short-term or long-term.

Teens and young adults experience the same types of abuse in relationships as adults. This can include:

– Intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, kicking, strangling, or using a weapon.

– Threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, or stalking.

– Use of cell phones or social media to intimidate, harass or threaten a current or ex-dating partner, which might include demanding passwords, checking cell phones, cyber bullying, threatening or excessive texting, sexting, or stalking online.

Some facts about Teen Dating Violence

– Dating violence happens to young people in teen dating relationships as often as it does in adult relationships.

– 12.2% of high school girls between 14 and 18 years old reported that they had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a dating partner.

– 40% of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

– About 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their dating relationships continue to date their abuser after violence has begun.

– Nearly all female rape victims know their attacker. 56% of teenage girls who are raped are raped by a date.

Talking to teens about healthy relationships

We encourage parents and educators to talk to teens about healthy relationships based on equality and respect, and to discuss what is not healthy or loving in a relationship. Relationships that are not healthy are based on power and control. Possessiveness, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, and other abusive behaviors are attempts to have power and control.

Call us for help or more information

S.H.A.R.E., Inc. provides safety plans as well as emergency crisis intervention for persons who are in an abusive relationship. We can also provide more information on how to talk about Teen Dating Violence with a friend, loved one, or child.

 

Presidential Proclamation: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Each year, 1 in 10 American teenagers suffers physical violence at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend, and many others are sexually or emotionally abused. Dating violence can inflict long‑lasting pain, putting survivors at increased risk of substance abuse, depression, poor academic performance, and experiencing further violence from a partner. During National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to preventing abuse, supporting survivors, holding offenders accountable, and building a culture of respect.

Although girls and young women ages 16 to 24 are at the highest risk, dating violence can affect anyone. That is why everyone must learn the risk factors and warning signs. While healthy relationships are built on fairness, equality, and respect, dating violence often involves a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. It can include constantly monitoring, isolating, or insulting a partner; extreme jealousy, insecurity, or possessiveness; or any type of physical violence or unwanted sexual contact. If you, a friend, or a loved one, is in an abusive relationship, the National Dating Abuse Helpline will offer immediate and confidential support. To contact the Helpline, call 1‑866‑331‑9474, text “loveis” to 22522, or visit http://www.LoveIsRespect.org. For more information on dating violence, please visit http://www.CDC.gov/features/datingviolence.

My Administration remains dedicated to preventing dating violence, raising awareness among teens and their families, and educating young people about healthy relationships. Earlier this year, I established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. In addition to its primary focus of reducing sexual assault on college campuses, the task force will consider how its recommendations could apply to secondary schools. Because we must also reach out to teens in new ways, Vice President Joe Biden’s 1 is 2 Many initiative is engaging them online, via mobile applications, and in social media. Alongside schools, communities, and advocacy groups, we are working to change attitudes and help teens speak out against dating violence.

Each of us can play a role in ending dating violence ‑‑ in our schools, our homes, our neighborhoods, and our dormitories. This month and throughout the year, let every American look out for one another, stand with survivors, speak out against dating violence, and build communities where abuse is never tolerated.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2014 as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. I call upon all Americans to support efforts in their communities and schools, and in their own families, to empower young people to develop healthy relationships throughout their lives and to engage in activities that prevent and respond to teen dating violence.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA