Dating Violence Often Occurs at School
When we think of "school violence," we often automatically think of students opening fire on other students or on their teachers. While these are truly horrible incidents, what about those violent acts which go unnoticed and unreported? Dating violence between young men and women in our high schools is all too often more common than not. One study addressing the context of teen dating violence found that nearly 43% of both males and females who reported experiencing dating violence reported that it occurred in a school building or on school grounds.
Current reports outlining the frequency of dating violence range from 36.4% to 45.5% of girls reporting they experienced some form of dating violence in a past or current dating relationship and 37.1% to 43.2% of males acknowledging such victimization. Girls more often experienced being punched or forced to engage in sexual activity, while boys reported incidents of being pinched, slapped, scratched, and kicked.
Girls more often viewed the violence as significant, both emotionally and physically, while most boys, though not all, reported little or no consequence. Boys more often than girls identified that they were the initiators of violence, while a significant percentage of violence perpetrated by girls could be tied to "fighting back" against violence initiated by their partner.
The Illinois Center for the Prevention of Violence reports the following: "It has been documented that few students reach out to school personnel for help in addressing dating violence. This supports the need for preparing teens with the knowledge of how to respond should a peer disclose victimization to them, and providing information on resources and how to access them." Clearly, dating violence awareness programs such as the Love's Not Supposed to Hurt program developed by the Corporate Alliance are important pieces in helping to prevent dating violence.