The importance of this issue is why dozens of NEA members participated in a workshop, led by Sarah Colomé of Break the Cycle, at the NEA Joint Conference on Concerns of Women and Minorities last year.According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 10 percent of adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year. The rate of psychological victimization is even higher: Between two and three in 10 reported being verbally or psychologically abused in the previous year, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. As for perpetration rates, there are currently no nationwide estimates for who does the abusing, and state estimates vary significantly.Girls were more likely than boys to intervene, and students who had themselves been victims of sexual violence or dating aggression were more likely to intervene than students without that personal history.Teens told the researchers that sometimes they didn’t step in because they wanted to avoid fanning the flames of teenage drama.Although research on rates of perpetration and victimization exists, research that examines the problem from a longitudinal perspective and considers the dynamics of teen romantic relationships is lacking.
The survey asked about 9,900 high school students whether they had experienced some type of violence from someone they dated.At worst, we’re remembering the teen who retired Ohio teacher Deloris Rome Hudson will never forget: The one strangled to death by her boyfriend, one month before her high school graduation. And that can happen from the youngest grades on up, when we help students understand what a healthy relationship looks like, and know that they deserve that instead.Today’s educators need to be alert to the signs of teen dating abuse. Learning how to develop and maintain positive relationships is part of the social and emotional learning that keeps us all safe and happy—and leads to academic success.Most of the teens surveyed reported experiencing such violence more than one time.The findings also showed that those who experienced some form of dating violence also had a higher prevalence of other health risks like drinking alcohol, using drugs or thinking about suicide.