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Teen Dating Violence Not A Priority For Schools

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Teen Dating Violence

Um, why not??

Research is now showing that a third of U.S. teens are experiencing dating violence.

This sucks, but what makes it worse is that most high schools aren't prepared for it — lacking procedures and trained staff.

That means that 70 percent of U.S. high school counselors have not received any formal training in teen dating violence.

How is dating violence defined? Pretty broadly: from simple verbal abuse to teens being raped, beaten and murdered.

The research sent surveys to a bunch of schools and offered the counselors a dollar to fill it out and send it back.

About half did.

Turns out, about 81 percent of the counselors said their schools did not have one in place to deal with a dating violence incident.

The scariest part is that regardless of this fact, 61 percent of the counselors said they had helped a teen who had experienced dating violence in the last two years — meaning, though they meant well, they had no idea what they were doing when they tried to help!

This needs to be changed.

So the researchers recommended that they improve what they're doing by doing things like encouraging health organizations like the National Association of School Nurses to offer guidance counselors information and training.

Counselors aren't the only ones who need to step up, either: school administrators should be assessing the extent of dating violence in their schools. Also, they need to be up to date with dating violence laws.

Scary!

We should also be working on preventing this (ahem, PARENTS), instead of just scrambling around in the aftermath.

[Image via AP Images.]

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