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Study: High Schools Lack Policies on Domestic Violence

A recent study on dating violence, a form of domestic violence, among teens looked at whether high schools in the U.S. had sufficient policies to address the issue. According to the study, although dating violence is a recognized issue, the majority of the surveyed high school counselors say their schools do not provide guidelines or training to address the issue. The lack of protocol is bad for both the alleged victim and alleged offender.

According to previous research, between 10 and 30 percent of teens have been physically hurt by a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and such incidences are also linked to physical and mental health problems, weight gain, sexually transmitted diseases, and suicidal thoughts. But, a new study shows that many high schools in the U.S. do not have a policy regarding dating violence even though many high school couples attend the same school.

More than 80 percent of the respondents to the study said their school lacked a protocol for responding to allegations of teen dating violence. The reasons why high schools lack policies on dating violence vary. They range from a reluctance to get involved in teen dating to not considering dating violence to be a serious issue. Some schools also have apprehension about parent reaction to the school’s intervention in a student’s sexual or personal life.

The authors of the study say education on teen dating violence is important to not only high school counselors and educators but to students as well. Education on dating violence will help show that abusive behavior is not the norm to individuals on both sides of the issue.

Source: Health, “U.S. High Schools Lax in Preventing Dating Abuse: Study,” Steven Reinberg, July 9, 2012

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