Dating Abuse Affects One in Five Teens
Studies show that one in five teenagers in a serious dating relationship reports being physically abused by their partner. This issue is so serious that several states have passed laws specifically addressing teen dating abuse.
Hazelden Publishing, the leading publisher of evidence-based violence prevention programs for students in first grade through 12th grade, understands the significance of preventing dating violence and has published Safe Dates, the only evidence-based program that addresses this important issue. Safe Dates helps teens recognize the difference between caring, supportive relationships and controlling, manipulative, or abusive dating relationships.
“There are schools all over the United States that are implementing Safe Dates,” said Sue Thomas, expert on prevention and anti-bullying products, Hazelden Publishing. “When implemented with fidelity, research shows that schools and community organizations can see a significant reduction in physical and sexual dating violence.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), teens involved in an abusive dating relationship are more likely to do poorly in school and often engage in unhealthy behaviors, including drug and alcohol use.
Dr. Rodney Hammond, director of the CDC’s division of violence prevention, stated, “Reducing dating abuse requires effective prevention tools that are scientifically based. Recognizing the lack of such tools, CDC funded the development of the Safe Dates program. We hope that the lessons learned from the program can be used by other communities in their efforts to prevent violence.”
An ideal component to any middle or high school curriculum or community-based program, Safe Dates targets attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence and works to change those attitudes and behaviors. Safe Dates was selected for the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and received high ratings on all criteria.