A new study from Ball State University is going to have parents of high school students, and the students themselves, quite upset and worried. According to the study, 81.3 percent of 305 high school counselors reported that their schools do not have any sort of protocol or procedure for handling reports of adolescent dating violence, which is any psychological, emotional, sexual, or physical violence that occurs within a dating relationship.
Even more upsetting is that 90 percent of the counselors who were interviewed reported that they had not been trained in how to assist victims of adolescent dating violence within the past two years. Forty-three percent of the counselors said this lack of training was the main barrier that kept them from being able to help victims of this form of abuse. However, 61 percent of the counselors said they had indeed assisted victims of adolescent dating violence in the past two years, even though they did not have any training in the issue.
“[This is] the first research project to identify the need of formal training on adolescent dating violence for school personnel,” said Jagdish Knubchandani, a professor at Ball State who specializes in community health education. “Hopefully, this study will be a pioneer in helping establish school policies, protocols, and procedures for adolescent dating violence prevention.”
It is important to offer training to school counselors because a majority of teens report they have been in a romantic relationship within the last 1.5 years. About 75 percent of eighth- and ninth-grade students are dating when they enter high school. Sadly, about one out of every 11 teens will experience some sort of dating violence in their lifetime.
Via The Huffington Post