That this is seen as heterosexual relating should shock us into action.” Educating teens on what constitutes teen dating violence is half the battle, says Nabilah Talib, director of Wellness Services, which manages the Sexual Violence and Support Services (SVSS) program for YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.
“During a call, the person will receive crisis intervention services, and information and referrals on where to seek additional services based [on need] and location,” Talib says.
Katie Ray-Jones, president of the NDVH, agrees that there are a lot of normalizing and rationalizing behaviors that make it much harder for victims of dating violence to seek help.
“For example, it can be something like a prom date saying ‘I’m going to have sex with her/him on prom night,’ as opposed to ‘We [are going to have sex on prom night].’ It is all about power and control.” When Christiane Stahl, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), sees patients who may be involved in a violent relationship, she tries to engage in anticipatory guidance with boys and girls to talk about how healthy relationships do involve coercion or violence.
“This is particularly important when there has been household violence or single parenting without modeling of partnership,” she explains.
Youth violence statistics show this is a serious problem: Youth violence statisitcs show that most schools are still relatively safe places for young people. Secret Service, in the previous decade the odds of a high school student being killed at school were 1 in one million.