Students must be protected from dating violence

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 at 6:04 AM

The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine implicitly recommended that dating violence among teenagers should be reported, and that the consequences that come with being in an abusive relationship need to be addressed in PA high schools.

The Pennsylvania government website posted an article last week that states that this does not mean just physical problems, but these issues can cause extensive damage to a teen’s mental health, oftentimes permanently. “It is essential that we talk about the impacts of dating violence among youth and continue to promote healthy relationship behaviors to ensure the safety of all residents,” secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said during a conference.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that high school-age victims of dating violence are more likely to be involved in violence later in life, according to a study. The CDC also says that these victims are also more susceptible to developing anxiety disorders, depression, or other mental health illnesses as well, or develop drug and alcohol addictions.

There are model policy forms online at education.pa.gov, as well as a student complaint form that can be downloaded and utilized by the public.

If you are experiencing a crisis as a result of dating violence and are having thoughts involving suicide, or if you know someone that is, you are encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) or text PA to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Both services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Let’s make it a point to eliminate dating violence not just in Pennsylvania, but in the world.

Read more about the Pennsylvania government’s teen dating violence policies and what they are doing to help prevent it in Rhiannon Pushchak’s full article in the March 5th issue of The Spectator.

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