Sunday, October 05, 2008

Teaching About Dating Violence

I see many girls at school hitting their boyfriends, but I'm sure any abuse the boys may level towards their girlfriends is not as obvious as a punch out on the quad.

Some states require teaching about dating violence in health classes.

Burke's 23-year-old daughter, Lindsay, may not have understood the dynamics of an abusive relationship, but her death is helping to ensure that other young people do.

Beginning with this school year, a new law called the Lindsay Ann Burke Act requires all public middle and high schools in Rhode Island to teach students about dating violence in their health classes.

The initiative was spearheaded by Burke and her husband, Chris, who say schools should be obligated to teach teens the warning signs of abusive relationships and broach the subject head-on so victims feel empowered to get help and leave violent partners.

"If this could happen to her, this could happen to anyone," said Ann Burke, a health teacher who runs a memorial fund to raise money for dating violence workshops for parents and educators. One other state, Texas, mandates unspecified awareness education on dating violence for students and parents, while several other states encourage it. But the Rhode Island measure goes further by requiring the topic be incorporated annually into the curriculum for students in seventh through 12th grade.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

My daughter's school started an intervention group for such girls as the result of a football player beating up his girlfriend. The girl was a friend of my daughter's and she wasn't the prettiest or smartest child, but she didn't deserve the abuse she got. The kid haunted her house and made it impossible for her to go anywhere without him. A former student of mine had her dog killed and was stalked by her steroid taking former boyfriend to the point that she graduated early and her entire family moved. She always attributed it to drug use,and that could be a factor when steroids are involved, but the sad fact is that some girls are so tied into the reputation of having a boyfriend that is popular and high status that they put up with behavior that is not normal. This sets them up for an unhappy marriage to the guy,or a series of sad stories because of what they learned in high school about relationships. And frankly, the parents are often clueless as to what is going on. I would welcome such a course or organization or even a mention during health classes. It should never be allowed to happen.