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 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.
Battered Women’s Shelter offers outreach for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
In 1992, 18-year-old Tina Croucher was violently murdered by her boyfriend, who then shot himself. Because of her death and the awareness it created, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in 2009 signed the Tina Croucher Act into law, which requires schools to incorporate dating violence prevention education into their curriculum.
But teen dating violence is still a serious problem, said Abby McGinty, Project Tina specialist of Summit and Medina Counties. “The rates of occurrence are so high with this type of abuse that it exceeds youth violence,” she said. “Violence among dating partners is the highest instance of youth violence in the country.”
For this reason, the month of February has been deemed National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and local agencies are offering outreach to schools and families to help curb this widespread concern.