By Aviva Norman, JWI Intern
Throughout my internship this summer at JWI, I have learned a great deal about teen dating violence by working on a variety of special projects. In particular, my work on JWI’s healthy relationship curriculum has given me a lot of insight into these types of issues. The work I’ve done has taught me to think critically about how to most effectively reach the high school age group in a way that is both accessible and interactive. My contribution to the program has been a distinctive collaboration of the organization’s pre-existing materials and my own insight into these core issues in producing a useful guide for the revised curriculum.
I care deeply about women’s issues, and it has been very rewarding to have the opportunity to provide informational resources in an effort to teach about dating abuse and healthy relationships. I feel very fortunate to have input in empowering young women and providing tools for women to be able to exercise their own independence and autonomy in their relationships. I am horrified that in today’s society 1 in 4 adolescents report emotional, physical, or sexual violence annually, and 1 in 10 report being a victim of physical dating violence, and I am hopeful that healthy relationship curricula, such as JWI’s, will be made more readily available to every teen across the country.
That is why I’m delighted that The SAFE Teen Act was introduced today in both the House and the Senate. The “Stop Abuse for Every (SAFE) Teen Act, or SAFE Teen Act, strives to reduce the prevalence of teen dating violence in order to increase student health, safety, and academic achievement. This bill would allow schools to use existing grant funding for teen dating violence prevention programs, support better teen dating violence research, and encourage teen dating violence prevention to become a more significant part of the existing program, Safe Schools, Healthy Students. I hope you’ll join me in advocating for the passage of this critically important legislation.