Teachers and Parents
Resources for Teachers
Teachers wield incredible influence over future generations; they are in a position to educate our youth about healthy relationships, as well as provide resources to students and their families who may suffer from dating/domestic violence. Using age-appropriate materials, educators are able to encourage students to form healthy relationships, recognize abusive behaviors and create an environment free from sexual harassment and disrespect.
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.
- Safety Planning for Teens (pdf)
- For Teachers: Frequently Asked Questions about Teen Dating Violence (pdf)
- Parents’ Guide to Teen Dating Violence
- National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1.866.331.9474
Provides teen-specific information on elements of abusive relationships, how to help friends and additional resources. 1.866.331.8453 (TTY)
A companion site to the 2011 documentary of the same name, MissRepresentation.org discusses the media’s portrayal of women and girls, provides media literacy education guides and conversation starters for teens and families.
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.
- Lessons from Literature: Futures without Violence – Provides lesson plans for English teachers to integrate discussions on physical, verbal and sexual abuse into existing curriculum.
- American Bar Association: National Teen Dating Violence Prevention Initiative – Provides teacher-specific materials and resources for elementary through university level educators.
- “Tough Guise” Video Discussion Guide (pdf) – A comprehensive discussion guide that includes section summaries, key points, discussion questions, classroom and writing exercises and suggested reading lists.
- Literature List and Book Discussion Questions (Word doc)
- Jackson Katz: What to Say to Boys and Young Men About Big Ben
Huffington Post, 2/2/2011