Domestic violence occurs in dating relationships as well as marriages. Almost 21% of female high school students and 13% of male high school students reported being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. With as many as 1.5 million U.S. high school students being physically abused each year, domestic violence is something that needs to be discussed in communities nationwide. One community in North Carolina has been working on just that and is the focus of NCADV’s December webinar.
Domestic violence prevention is now being implemented in select Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools (mainly high schools) and other youth programs in the community. Their teen dating violence workshops with youth are among the first initiatives in the country to teach youth about healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships in schools.
On December 8th, 2016, our webinar, “Uniting for Teen Dating Violence Prevention: Programs, Methods, and Results,” will give attendees the opportunity to learn and understand the impact of teen dating violence prevention, to recognize the theories around preventing teen dating violence and to gain hands-on skills from teen dating violence workshops. The presenter, LoveSpeaksOut Coordinator Alex Pyun, will guide attendees through the program in Charlotte, how over 2,000 youths have gone through their workshops this year and activities that teach teens what dating violence is. Alex and webinar attendees will discuss components of these programs and share how it fits into prevention theories including addressing risk and protective factors, working across the layers of the socio-ecological model and focusing on primary prevention.
Still much of domestic violence field work revolves around intervention rather than prevention and around adults as victims rather than young people. Alex’s primary prevention work showcases how we can prevent interpersonal violence by working with children and teens as early as elementary school. Through engaging speaking events, curriculum implementation and community focused prevention strategies, young people are able to have discussions that analyze abusive behavior, support messages for healthy relationships and build up positive community support. Additionally, the prevention program model is also cost efficient, as Alex will show through his programs, they have been able to reach thousands of youth with a small staff each semester. Following such a model will have a major impact on the number of domestic violence cases in the future.