Teen Dating Violence is preventable. And adults who care for kids—parents, teachers, mentors, youth leaders, administrators, ministers, coaches, grandparents, godparents, kinfolk, all of us—are in positions that enable us to get in front of this problem. The kids that we love are guided by our example and we are mostly in charge of the homes, classrooms, hallways, clubs, locker rooms, and congregations that they occupy. By working together, we can use our knowledge, partnerships, resources and determination to ensure that the spaces that our kids occupy are safe, and to establish respectful relationships as the expected norm. The Indiana teens featured in this site came together for this purpose—to tell adults about the impact that teen dating violence (TDV) has in their lives and to ask us to take a stand with them to end it. This is what our kids deserve.
For too long we have treated TDV as an inevitable part of teen relationships. In terms of prevention, we thought that the best that we could do was to try to protect the kids in our communities by telling them about TDV, by warning them about red flags, and by trying to equip them with the skills necessary to dodge abusive relationships. These risk reduction strategies alone aren’t working. First, they haven’t significantly reduced TDV, and second, we don’t think that they’re very fair. Rather than trying to teach our kids how to navigate the risks in our communities, we think that it is the responsibility of adults to work to eliminate those risks. This is our job.
We know a lot about the bad news. The prevalence and impact of teen dating violence are well documented. The good news is that we can prevent this violence and the purpose of this site is to provide adults with information about how we can participate in the solution. In these tabs you will find concrete strategy suggestions and resources. Additionally, staff members at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence are eager to answer questions and to provide support for your prevention work. For more information please contact Colleen Yeakle.
Do you know a group of teens who want to join a team to stop teen dating violence in their community?
ICADV has worked in collaboration with Turning Point to develop a youth council toolkit to help agencies, schools and individuals to convene a local Youth Council. We’ve compiled our application forms, training outlines and samples of materials created by our council members. Additionally, we’ve shared advice about the successes and challenges that we’ve encountered along the way in creating and sustaining our youth councils. We hope that you can use or modify these materials to convene a youth advisory council in your community. ICADV is available to answer any additional questions that you might have or to provide technical assistance as you engage youth as leaders in your primary prevention work.
Thanks for joining us in taking a Stand-4-Respect!
Stand4Respect is a program of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. For more information about domestic violence in Indiana, visit the ICADV website.