One in four teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family.
Does this apply to you or someone in your life?
This statistic, among many more, is provided by the brochure for the Tina Project, an organizational collaborative that helps Ohio schools meet and exceed state laws in order to prevent teen dating violence and promote healthy healing.
The project assists schools by providing classroom-based education, professional training for teachers and school personnel, policy assistance, crisis intervention and support services and assistance in building relationships with domestic violence and rape crisis agencies. More recently, the project has launched a free educational webcast on topics of teen dating violence for educators and school personnel in collaboration with The Battered Women's Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties.
"The idea was that if we target teachers with the webcast, they can reach far more students than local service providers," said Shannon Crumpler, Tina Project Coordinator.
According to the website, the Tina Project is named in honor of Tina Croucher, who at age 18, was murdered by her boyfriend on Dec. 21, 1992. Seventeen years later on Dec. 28, 2009, Governor Ted Strickland signed into law Ohio House Bill 19, also named The Tina Croucher Act.
The bill requires public schools to:
• Incorporate dating violence into their already existing policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying
• Include dating violence prevention education in the health curriculum
• Training of specified staff members on dating violence by October 2011 and every five years
• Provide instruction, which shall include recognizing dating violence warning signs and characteristics of healthy relationships
• School Boards are also directed to incorporate training in the prevention of dating violence into the in-service training required by current law for "nurses, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, or administrators"
The webcast will focus on warning signs of Teen Dating Violence, types of abuse, impact of abuse, how to help students and House Bill 19 requirements.
"The webcast will provide statistics for those using it and evaluations on how we can serve others better," Crumpler said. "Teachers have really embraced it. Teen dating violence isn't something people talk about often and people are unsure what to do. We are able to link individuals with counseling services or help schools form partnerships with the right agencies."
Crumpler added that the webcast incorporates stories of survivors and that you don't have to be a teacher to sign up to view the sessions.
"If we pair this educational information to an emotional story, there is a higher chance a long-term connection will form and the learner will have the motivation to share this information," she said.
The Tina Project makes sure to focus on male and female survivors. Most statistics apply to females due to underreporting with males, but regardless of gender, the education and support is necessary.
"The statistics for teen dating and violence are startling," Crumpler said. "The Tina Project hopes to raise more awareness and understanding of how to deal with these statistics."
To access the webcast, please visit http://tinawebcast.cinecraft.com/.