Approximately 10 percent of high school students based in the District of Columbia reported complaints of dating violence last year, a problem the city has taken action to sort out, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The D.C. Attorney General’s Office, which aims at reducing violent incidents in the area, has launched a program to educate teenagers about how to identify signs of unhealthy relationships and dating violence.
The move followed the outcome of a poll that was carried out last year by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. In the study, one in every 10 high school students in D.C. stated that they experienced “physical dating violence,” while five percent said they experienced “sexual dating violence.”
On February 21, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine’s office held a Teen Dating Violence Summit at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center in the Congress Heights neighborhood.
Titled the #RelationshipGoals, the event was sponsored by Break the Cycle, and D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in addition to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
Another vital goal of the initiative is to urge students to intervene when they are convinced that their friends are in unhealthy relationships.
“According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 39 percent of women who live in the District of Columbia have reported physical assault, sexual assault, or stalking by a current or former intimate partner,” the OAG says in the summit’s brief.
“To support youth and healthy relationships, OAG provides training to youth across the District on how to recognize different types of abuse, and how kids can get help if they need it. Now, student ambassadors from these trainings will lead a summit for teenagers to help them identify healthy relationships and eliminate unhealthy behaviors through interactive panels and discussion.”