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Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention

Teen dating violence is a growing public health issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research, one in 10 high school students report being a victim of physical dating violence. Even more startling, adolescents who report experiencing dating violence are also more likely to report binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fighting, and current sexual activity.

Dating Matters banner featuring photos of several teenagers

Dating Matters is a free, online course available at www.vetoviolence.org/datingmatters. Developed in partnership with Liz Claiborne Inc., the goal of Dating Matters is to provide educators with knowledge and resources regarding teen dating violence and motivate them to implement prevention measures in their schools. Specifically, Dating Matters seeks to:

  • Increase knowledge/awareness of teen dating violence;
  • Increase knowledge of the impact of teen dating violence on academics;
  • Increase the number of educators who can be models of healthy behavior; and
  • Facilitate changes in classroom practice and changes in school climate by working with educators to modify norms that support the use of violence.

Young people sometimes spend more hours with educators – school administrators, teachers, and coaches – than they do with their own parents. This is a lot of responsibility and it is also an amazing opportunity. Creating, influencing, and fostering teen dating violence prevention efforts like Dating Matters gives us the opportunity to make a positive impact today and years from now.
-Dr. Rodney Hammond, Director
 Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The ultimate goal is to stop dating violence before it starts. Strategies that promote healthy and respectful relationships are vital. During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning about relationships with potential dating partners. This is an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood.

For more information, go to www.vetoviolence.org/datingmatters.