Teen Dating ViolenceJennifer Crecente died the day after Valentine's Day, 2006. She didn't die from a childhood disease and wasn't killed in a car accident. She was murdered by a classmate. Somebody that she'd grown to know, trust and eventually date.
She was 17 when she met her boyfriend and 20 when she died at his hands. In between, Heather Norris tried several times to leave the relationship, which was fraught with control and abuse, before she was killed — stabbed, dismembered and discarded in trash bags.
According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer article, "Abusive Relations among Teens Fly under Radar," by Rachel Dissell, “Teen relationships are often discounted as 'puppy love' and not taken seriously by adults. Neither are the signs of abuse, which can quickly escalate, such as when [Cleveland] West SideHigh School senior, Johanna Orozco, was shot in the face... Police arrested her ex-boyfriend. " In addition, The New York Times reported that, “Texas recently adopted a law that requires school districts to define dating violence in school safety codes, after the 2003 stabbing death of Ortralla Mosley, 15, in a hallway of her Austin high school and the shooting death of Jennifer Ann Crecente, 18, two years ago. Rhode Island in 2007 adopted the Lindsay Ann Burke Act — prompted by the murder of a young woman by a former boyfriend — requiring school districts to teach students in grades 7 through 12 about dating abuse…New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed that dating violence had risen by more than 40 percent since 1999…” On February 18, 2009, Ohio State Legislature introduced House Bill 19 which requires each school district board of education to adopt a policy to address incidents of dating violence at school or school events, to provide staff training on dating violence, and to include dating violence education for grades 7 through 12 within the district’s health education curriculum.
It’s hard to believe that between 30 and 50 percent of dating relationships exhibit the same kinds of escalating violence as marital relationships; as a result, the signs of abuse are, too often, overlooked among teens. Young people experience abuse in their relationships at a higher rate than any other age group. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice consistently finds that girls and women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
Domestic Violence Education: A Journey of Knowledge, Healing, and Empowerment
As a survivor of domestic violence, an author of two books on domestic violence and a Masters degree in Education, Jennifer Mitchell Earley has dedicated herself to researching and educating others about the dangers of teen dating and domestic violence. To this end, she has developed a curriculum, as a resource for students, parents, staff, faculty and administrators, to address this pervasive issue. The curriculum, Domestic Violence Education: A Journey of Knowledge, Healing, and Empowerment, is an invaluable guide designed to assist in identifying the early signs of abuse so that students can obtain help before a tragedy occurs.
The Domestic Violence Education: A Journey of Knowledge, Healing, and Empowerment curriculum addresses the complex issue of domestic violence through five comprehensive units. Unit III provides information about the nature, various types, warning signs, and incidence of teen violence. The Power and Control Wheel, as used by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, will be analyzed and applied. To culminate the unit, each student will review the Teen Bill of Rights and complete a safety plan. Don’t wait until tragedy strikes in your district, educate your student body about teen dating violence. Anne Burke, health teacher and mother of slain daughter, Lindsay Ann Burke, believes that her daughter’s death could have been avoided if she had this type of education; consequently, Lindsey would have recognized the danger in her relationship much earlier.4
To schedule a meeting to further discuss how this curriculum can be integrated into health classes call 216.253.2531.
There are several options available so that this progam can be customized to meet the needs of your district.Schedule a Meeting
Teen Violence Prevention Presentations
Nearly half of the 200 Boston teenagers interviewed for an informal poll said pop star Rihanna was responsible for the beating she allegedly took at the hands of her boyfriend, fellow music star Chris Brown, in February.
Of those questioned, ages 12 to 19, 71 percent said that arguing was a normal part of a relationship; 44 percent said fighting was a routine occurrence.The Rihanna and Chris Brown controversy is one of today's top entertainment news stories and a topic of conversation for young people. How have you used this situation to educate your students about the dangers and prevalence of domestic violence?
Student Presentations are an excellent way to engage your students in dialogue regarding teen dating violence issues. Each presentation is gender specific and covers the following:
The Different Types of Abuse
Red Flags in Relationships
The Tactics of Control
Self-Esteem, Self-Concept, and Respect
And Much More!
High School: Two (2) 1-hour sessions per grade level, per gender (small groups)*
Middle School: One (1) 1-hour session per grade level, per gender
*dependent upon school size