Parents and Concerned Citizens
According to a study by Harvard University, 1 in 5 girls in Massachusetts public high schools will be hit, kicked or punched by a current or former dating partner. The study further found that of those girls that were victims or targets of this abuse, they were:
- 6-9 times as likely to attempt of commit suicide
- 9 times as likely to abuse substances (i.e. drugs, alcohol)
- 3-5 times as likely to have body image issues (i.e. vomiting, use of diet pills, laxatives)
- 2-5 times as likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors (evidenced by pregnancy, STD's)
- Perhaps worse than the prevalence and severity of this addressable issue is, that based on confusion, misinformation, shame and the ‘victim blaming mentality’ associated with this issue, it continues to thrive in silence.
- It's an incredibly well kept secret that is quietly causing high school students untold pain, anguish, anxiety, depression and may cause them their life
- A secret and situation that most students have absolutely no idea how to effectively deal with it (i.e. what to do, where to go, who to talk to)
- Despite the staggering statistics in terms of TDVA prevalence, severity and adverse impact:
- 81% of parents surveyed either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue. (“Women’s Health,” June/July 2004, Family Violence Prevention Fund and Advocates for Youth)
- A majority of parents (54%) admit they’ve not spoken to their child about dating violence.(Empower Program, sponsored by Liz Claiborne Inc. and conducted by Knowledge Networks, Social Control, Verbal Abuse, and Violence Among Teenagers, (2000))
- The reason you may not have ever heard of it is because it’s estimated by the U.S. Department of Justice that this is under-reported anywhere from 60-95%, and other studies conclude that less than 3% of teenagers will ever tell an adult.
- Many will confidently contend that they don’t have an issue locally based primarily on the fact that they’ve never heard of it
- Accordingly the TDVA issue goes unaddressed as most people, parents and principals amongst them, can’t even fathom that it exists within their local high school or community.
- Consequently many high schools don't have sufficient policies and programs in place to effectively educate and address the TDVA issue.
What is the ROSE Fund doing about it? What can you do about it?
- Through a simple and efficient on-line survey, we're exposing this issue on a high school by high school basis across New England by 'localizing' it. The anonymous survey is comprised of 25 questions that take less than 10 minutes to complete. The approach effectively breaks the silence associated with this wildly under-reported epidemic and properly informs local schools about the prevalence and severity of the TDVA issue amongst their students. To date it has efficiently and significantly increased both awareness of the TDVA issue and commitment to address the TDVA issue.
- If necessary, in partnership with local agencies, we provide high schools with simple, practical and affordable ways to increase their effectiveness in addressing the TDVA issue. Essentially ensuring that we inoculate the next generation with the basic knowledge around how to identify the early signs of an unhealthy relationship before it escalates into an abusive relationship that has either life-altering or lethal consequences.
- Parents and concerned citizens can play an integral role in addressing the TDVA epidemic by helping us to break the silence associated with this issue by 'localizing' it in your home town.
Our offer and challenge to parents and concerned citizens is two-fold:
- To contact us directly, or sign up to attend a 15-20 minute webinar to learn more about the TDVA issue and ROSE Fund's approach to addressing it in your local town.
- Executive Director, Dan Walsh 781-929-1818 or
- To broker a meeting or introduction between ROSE and your local high school principal .
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has". -Margaret Mead
To learn more about The ROSE Fund's vision, position and perspective on the TDVA issue click here.
ACT NOW and make good on all of those new year's resolutions to give back and make a difference. It all starts with a phone call. Make it now, call Executive Director, Dan Walsh 781-929-1818.