Teachers and Parents

Resources for Teachers

Responding to Dating Violence

Approaching a survivor of dating violence

  • Start by expressing concern (“I thought it was possible that you are being hurt and I am concerned about you”)
  • State the facts of your observations
  • Be sensitive, don’t accuse or diagnose
  • Actively listen, empower the student to make decisions
  • Tell the student that it is not their fault
  • Refer the student to trained counselors to assist them in developing a safety plan

If a student denies abuse

  • Let them know that you are available if s/he ever needs help
  • Make sure s/he has access to brochures and information that include a description of abuse, hotlines and local resources
  • Respect the student’s decisions

Dealing with students who abuse

  • Name the behavior as abuse
  • Don’t agree with excuses they make for abuse
  • Don’t be manipulated by the perpetrator
  • Consult your school’s policy on violence to determine further action
  • Let the survivor know that you are confronting the perpetrator in order to avoid potential retaliation. You should refer the student to someone who can conduct a safety plan.


Additional Resources

Discussing Dating Violence in Your Classroom

It is critical that both male and female students receive education about dating violence and sexual violence. Dating and sexual violence are gendered issues. Most men are not abusive, though the majority of acts of dating and sexual violence are committed by men against women. Research indicates that holding separate educational sessions for boys and girls aids in the creation of a safe space for students to discuss the issues, as well as in reducing victim-blaming and revictimization of students who have experienced or are experiencing abuse.The following are resources for beginning the conversation in your classroom.

Curriculum Resources


A Note on Terminology

Domestic violence/relationship abuse refers to intimate relationships, not child abuse. Because the vast majority of relationship abuse is committed by men against women in heterosexual relationships, this website sometimes contains the female gender pronoun when referring to the abused person. Domestic violence/relationship abuse happens at the same rate in LGBTQQ relationships and all of the information on this site is relevant for male victims and for individuals in same-gender relationships. In addition, please see our resources on same-gender relationships. Our goal is to encourage helping professionals to be gender inclusive. This includes using gender-neutral language when working with individuals, while continuing to analyze gender as a construct that has implications on gender-based violence in both heterosexual and same-gender relationships.