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Dating and domestic violence on campus

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The lone male student on the panel also underscored the need to further engage men on these issues.

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“The vast majority of schools don’t have a protocol to respond to an incident of dating abuse,” says Jagidsh Khubchandani, who is an assistant professor of community health at Ball State University and author of the study.“Half of the school counselors could not answer half of the knowledge questions on dating abuse, such as ‘What is dating abuse?’” (See .) University and school administrators, faculty, staff, counselors, advocates, public safety practitioners and healthcare workers armed with the facts about teen and young adult dating violence will be better prepared to prevent it, encourage the reporting of it and respond to incidents when they do occur.Each person answered the question in a different way; however, one trend rose to the surface.In the past two years, the United States has made enormous progress in addressing campus sexual assault, but many campuses are missing a part of the equation: dating violence and healthy relationships need to be a bigger part of the conversation at colleges and universities.This point is particularly noteworthy since breakups are the times in violent relationships when abuse most often escalates or becomes lethal.

Educating students on healthy relationships and breakups, however, can help, as can guidance for students on how to interpret the messages being targeted at youth and young adults from the media.

Anne Munch, who is a consultant and was formerly the prosecutor for Denver, Telluride, Colo., and Jefferson County, Colo., says that often the student’s family has modeled unhealthy relationship behavior at home.

“Your K-12 schools are full of child victims who are either being victimized themselves or are witnessing abuse in their homes and then they are coming to school,” she says. With boys who are exposed to domestic violence at home, it dramatically increases their chances of repeating that behavior.” (It should be noted that, although research indicates the majority of relationship violence offenders are male, females can also perpetrate this type of abuse.) Regardless of how healthy or unhealthy a kid’s home life may be, most children and young adults who are in their first relationship don’t know how to handle breakups in a healthy way.

Even if the abuse doesn’t result in a homicide, the trauma from it can affect a young victim’s development.

Dating abuse puts adolescent and young adult victims at a higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and domestic violence later on in their lives. high schools lack training or guidelines for counselors in dealing with dating violence, according to a study released by Ball State University last year.

“The relationships may be mostly online or through texts, so the relationships look very different.