Dating violence has a particularly damaging effect on schools, their students and the education process.
Nearly half of students who experience dating violence say some of the abuse took place on school grounds.1 Studies indicate that teen victims of dating violence:
- Have higher rates of truancy, more negative contact with their teachers and increased conflict with other students2
- Are substantially more likely than classmates to bring guns or weapons to schools3
- Are three times as likely to be involved in physical fights4
As an educator, you have likely seen the effects of dating abuse on some of your students. Your daily contact with students puts you in the unique position of seeing how controlling, jealous or violent relationships can hinder a student’s ability to learn.
What You Can Do
You are a first responder to dating violence as an educator. While schools are especially affected by dating violence, they also provide a rich setting for proactively addressing abuse. You can make your school safer by implementing a policy against abuse, training staff and educating students.
Few schools have written policies that meet the needs of youth experiencing dating violence. A comprehensive policy should include specific guidelines for:
- Responding to complaints of dating violence
- Involving campus police and law enforcement
- Providing services and accommodations for victims
- Enacting appropriate consequences for abusive students
- Referring students to community based organizations
Learn more about developing a dating violence policy for your school.
Training School Personnel
To build a safe school environment, all staff should feel confident in responding to dating violence appropriately. Teachers, faculty, coaches, counselors, campus police and other school personnel can all benefit from regularly-scheduled training about abuse. Learn more about the many training opportunities Break the Cycle offers.
Working with all students to prevent dating violence is a crucial part of creating a safe campus. Schools should actively work towards raising students’ awareness about:
- Dating abuse
- Resources for help
- Healthy relationships
- Teens’ legal responsibilities
- Students’ rights to safety on campus
Break the Cycle’s [Ending Violence] curriculum can help you implement a meaningful dating abuse prevention program at your school.
You can also direct youth to the resources on loveisrespect.org. The site offers a vast library of content and 24/7 peer-staffed help available via phone, chat and text.
For more information about how Break the Cycle can help you make your school safer, visit the How We Help section of this website.