Despite the widespread occurrence of dating violence and its devastating consequences, research indicates many administrators, teachers, public safety officers and counselors don’t know how to properly address the issue. Ninety percent said there had been no staff training in the previous two years on the topic even though 61% had counseled victims of dating violence in the past two years.“The vast majority of schools don’t have a protocol to respond to an incident of dating abuse,” says Jagidsh Khubchandani, who is an assistant professor of community health at Ball State University and author of the study.
In most dating abuse cases involving undergrads, however, the dynamics are different.
Many teens do not report it because they are afraid to tell friends and family. Youth who experience dating violence are more likely to experience the following: Additionally, youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college.
A 2017 CDC Report [PDF 4.32MB] found that approximately 7% of women and 4% of men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced some form of partner violence by that partner before 18 years of age. Communicating with your partner, managing uncomfortable emotions like anger and jealousy, and treating others with respect are a few ways to keep relationships healthy and nonviolent.
Young Victims Learn to Accept Abuse as Normal Although teen and young adult dating relationships that are violent have a significant number of characteristics that are similar to traditional domestic abuse situations, there are also some differences that impact how campus administrators, faculty and police prevent and respond to incidents.
“[The victim and offender] may be talking or hanging out,” says Casey Corcoran, program director for Futures Without Violence (a non-profit organization dedicated to ending violence against women and children), about K-12 dating abuse.
Our second installment on sexual violence prevention can be found here, and our third installment on sexual assault investigations can be found here.