Monday, January 14, 2008

Date Violence-is not a rare event!

While on a hike with a group of friends, I had mentioned that I was concerned about the violence among dating teens today. One man made the statement that smart women do not get abused, which totally astounded me. I was extremely proud of a friend who took exception to this remark and confronted this man about his statement. I admired the courage to admit that she had been a victim of abuse and that his point of view was outrageously wrong because I’m not always good at leaving my comfort zone. Well, talking about and/or experiencing violence of any kind is not a comfortable zone to be in and shouldn’t be. This whole conversation actually made me wonder how many other people have this erroneous point of view and actually pass this view on to our young people. I believe we need to do better job in educating teens that there is no excuse for abuse and it should not be tolerated as well as educating the general public that “abuse affects people of every gender, race, class, sexual orientation and nationality” according to The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence(ACADV)and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

I feel that informing students about dating violence is important but I was alarmed at how often dating violence is happening. states that, “Violent behavior that takes place in a context of dating or courtship is not a rare event.” “Statistics show that one in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship,” according to The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence(ACADV. “Almost none of these teens tell their parents, and most teens in abusive relationships don't know where to seek help. (Palo Alto Medical Foundation)”

I plan to stress that getting abused has nothing to do with how smart or intelligent the victim may be. I plan to make more people aware of the alarming statistics and try to brainstorm ways to help educate students on what to do and where to seek help. Students will probably be able to give some great input to this also. The biggest obstacle with combating dating violence is not the intelligence of the victim but the ignorance of most people about the growing problem. Maybe if we can break the cycle with teenagers, we can change the statistics. We just need to start somewhere.

Do you have any suggestions for this? Feel free to leave your suggestions in your comments so others may get some good ideas. Thanks!

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