The Teen Dating Abuse Program addresses the problem of teen dating violence in the schools, a problem that has generally been ignored by the media, schools, and advocacy groups. Twenty percent of teenage girls nationwide are physically or sexually assaulted by a partner, and 80% of these girls continue to date their abuser. This abuse has long-term consequences: abused teens have significantly higher rates of teenage pregnancy, eating disorders, STDs, and attempted suicide than other teens. Abused teens also have more problems with school attendance and performance than their non-abused peers.
The Teen Dating Abuse Program piloted its work in New York City. Despite the numerous reports and studies demonstrating the impact of dating abuse on New York City students, schools in New York have failed to take steps to address the problem. In New York City, the Department of Education and the individual schools do not have policies on teen dating violence, do not offer classes on dating violence or healthy relationships, do not train teachers or staff to recognize dating violence and offer assistance to students in violent relationships, and do not have any systems in place to help protect students who must face their abusers every day on campus. Moreover, school safety transfers—the only mechanism victims of dating violence might have to remove themselves from unsafe school situations—have such stringent requirements that they are not available to most victims of dating violence.
Our goal is to ensure that schools can be a safe haven for students experiencing violence, that they respond to abuse students' needs, and that school personnel can be a resource for abused students who seek assistance or advice.
State Law Guide: Teen Dating Abuse Education and School Policies (PDF) (2010): Several states now require school districts to adopt policies on dating abuse among students, which include providing dating abuse education to students and/or protecting targets of dating abuse while they are on campus. This guide tracks current laws and pending legislation relating to dating abuse.
How to Get an Order of Protection: A Guide for New York City Teens (PDF) (2009): An Order of Protection (OP) is an order from a civil court that can help protect you from harassment or abuse. This guide provides information on how and where to get an Order of Protection, what to do after you receive the OP, and additional resources.
Know Your Rights: Are You a Victim of Dating Abuse? (PDF) (2009): This guide provides information and resources for victims of teen dating abuse.
Responding to Teen Dating Abuse in New York City: What Adult Who Work with Teens Should Know (PDF) (2009): This guide provides information and resources for adults who work with victims of teen dating abuse.