Alarming New Survey Reports 57% Of American Teens Know Friends Who Have Experienced Physical, Sexual Or Verbal Abuse In Dating Relationships
73% of teens say
that physical violence in dating is a serious issue;
In response, unprecedented national high school curriculum will be launched to help kids recognize abuse, learn how to get assistance and ultimately stop the shocking trend of dating violence and abuse among teens
Washington, DC-June 9, 2005-A new survey on teens and dating released today details unparalleled, disturbing patterns of verbal, physical and sexual abuse among teens in dating relationships. The extent of teen dating abuse revealed in the survey has mobilized some of the country's leading education, domestic violence and teen experts to collaborate with corporate and public policy leaders on developing a new high school curriculum that can help teens prevent and deal with abuse in their lives.
The survey was conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) and commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc. Teens surveyed ranged in age from 13-18. Reports of abuse extend across suburbs, cities and regions and all ethnic groups. The findings convey a compelling call for help from an overwhelming majority of teens who state that physical and verbal abuse is a serious issue for them.
Love is Not Abuse Curriculum
In response to the prevalence of teen dating abuse and the importance of the issue cited by teens themselves, a group of educators, domestic violence experts, government officials, medical professionals and corporate leaders have come together to create a national high school curriculum, the Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum, designed specifically to educate and provide support and guidance to teens.
within their age group. The Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum is designed to reach 9th grade students (fourteen and fifteen year olds), and help them recognize, respond to and seek help for victims suffering relationship abuse. Liz Claiborne Inc. is funding and helping to guide the overall effort, as part of its Love Is Not Abuse program, which for the past 14 years has focused on raising awareness of and ultimately ending relationship violence.
"The sheer number of teens impacted by domestic violence issues is shocking, and our company wants to reach out to these kids right now so that they have the resources to deal with this issue as they enter adulthood," says Jane Randel, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc. "Our hope is that this curriculum will help educate teens on how to identify all forms of relationship abuse and understand what types of actions are and are not acceptable in a healthy dating relationship."
EDC is developing the three-lesson teenage dating violence curriculum. The lessons are designed to be taught in health education and/or English language arts classes, drawing on brief, engaging literary texts (poetry, short stories) to build awareness of how to make healthy choices in relationships.
The goals of the Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum are to:
The curriculum will contain detailed background information for teachers on the scope of the teenage dating violence problem and strategies for responding to students who disclose being in an abusive situation. Break the Cycle, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from dating and domestic violence, will also work closely with EDC in helping to shape the curriculum and acting as a resource for students or teachers who are themselves dealing with an abusive situation, or need advice on how to help a friend/student.
"It is clear that dating violence is a critical problem facing youth in America and there seems to be a lack of focus on addressing this issue in our educational system nationwide," explained Christine Blaber, Associate Director of the Center for School and Community Health Programs at Education Development Center, Inc., and Project Director. "Our goal is to create a dynamic initiative that will be easily incorporated into the school day to help teenagers name it, understand it, provide resources and suggestions about what to do when it arises, and ultimately help stop its growth."
The Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum will be piloted this fall in the following schools:
Liz Claiborne Inc. Advisory Board on Teenage Dating Violence and Abuse: