“That change is very notable in that it’s a more inclusive definition,” Carter said.“The Clery Act from 20 years ago already had a more modernized definition than the traditional Uniform Crime Report’s, and this is now even more inclusive as it’s irrespective of gender.” Another change receiving praise from student safety advocates is the requirement that universities allow both the accuser and the accused to be accompanied by an adviser of their choice during disciplinary proceedings.It’s even worse when we talk about non-physical forms of violence, like emotional, psychological, and financial abuse by an intimate partner — experiences that are rarely named as violent and almost never treated as such.Dating violence sometimes looks like choking/hitting/beating/rape (our common cultural image of it), but often takes the form of gaslighting, monitoring social media, threatening suicide or self-harm in order to maintain control, or prohibiting certain clothes, certain activities, and certain friendships.Youth who have experienced relationship abuse have a higher likelihood of being in abusive relationships as adults."These numbers are sobering, and far too many teens suffer silently in abusive relationships," said Melodee Hanes, OJJDP Acting Administrator.
Abuse in teen dating relationships is not limited to physical and sexual violence; it also can also include verbal abuse, stalking, unwanted telephone calls and e-mail messages, monitoring cell phone usage, and other forms of controlling and intimidating behavior.
The campaign is designed to empower youth to stand up to abuse.
It also provides a strong message to healthcare providers and other caring adults to help youth learn more about the issue, foster healthy relationships, and intervene more effectively when they suspect relationship abuse.
When they do reach out, their experience is often minimized and downplayed as “young love,” and signs that a relationship is turning dangerous are overlooked.
As educators with the Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program of Family Crisis Services, my colleagues and I speak to middle school, high school and college students around Cumberland County about how to have healthy relationships, recognize signs of abuse, get help when they need it and be a supportive friend to their peers.