Increasing Teen Dating Abuse Prompts New Education Progams

January 5, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – A current rise in abusive relationships in teens is prompting several school boards to begin classes and programs dedicated to teaching students what is and isn’t acceptable in dating.

The measures became necessary after the alarming increase in abuse relationships among adolescents, some being as young as 11 years old. From obsessive texting, to name calling, to physical violence, the warning signs are often ignored, and when they are, they can become fatal.

One such case was the death of 18 year old Heather Norris (shown left), who’s long time effort to end her abusive relationship with her boyfriend ended in her stabbing death, after which she was dismembered, and thrown away in trash bags. This is one of many such cases, with several happening to girls younger, within the halls of their own schools.

According to author and Harvard psycholgist, William S. Pollack, this is due to an increasing need to show masculinity in relationships, where teenage boys feel they have to exert control over their girlfriends. Fueled by raging hormones and a tendency towards anger, this can often turn violent.

In reaction to this threat, police officers placed within schools are being trained to recognize the warning signs of dating abuse, and to see the similarities between teenage and spousal assault, particularly after the Norris case.

“What happened to Heather really opened the eyes of police, the people I work with, who used to look at domestic violence differently,” Deborah Norris, Heather’s mother, also an accident investigator for the NYPD told reporters.

If you suspect someone you know may be facing dating abuse, visit http://www.loveisrespect.org, to find out how you can help.


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