Updated: Mar 27, 2021
Many times in the groups I hear people ask why, didn't they teach us about these type of things growing up? I cannot help but agree. I think that we are doing a huge disservice to our communities and society by not teaching people at a younger age what domestic violence looks like and how to not get caught in that cycle. Currently domestic violence is only talked through the following ways: the media, family members who have/had DV in their relationships and kids/teens learned about it through example, when someone is in a DV relationship and they get caught in the cycle of abuse and find it hard to get out, or we get in trouble or get locked up or "catch a case" for something that is called DV that we did not realize was DV. We have to ask ourselves, would it be a benefit if we learned about what a healthy relationship looks like? What would relationships look like if we all knew how to look for red flags? And what about if teenagers and or young adults were able to identify abuse when they are in that type of relationship in order to leave or get help before it becomes too late and they are back in the cycle.
One of my missions is to start getting public education to implement DV in curriculum more so than it is currently, at a national level. There are some states that have already done so and others that have not started this process. What are we waiting for? If people know what DV is at a younger age and before they become 18, and possibly caught up in the criminal justice system with a record, or worse yet dead or seriously injured, what is the hold up?
I am not saying that this will solve all of our DV in the US but that it may help to lower the amount that this is happening to individuals.
Public education and schools play a large part in youth building their foundations toward their future. Public schools provide education on many fields (English, history, math, science, etc). However, public education as a collective is not required to teach the youth about how to live a healthier life in regard to IPV/DV. Public education and schools must have a better role in understanding and not wanting to have violence continue in their students personal or home lives. Young persons not only experience dating abuse/violence often during their adolescent years, they also are learning to accept that abuse /violence as “normal”. If we do not teach adolescent persons to spot unhealthy relationships the more often they are to continue to except these as tolerable and misconstrue what it means to be in a loving/healthy relationship. Abuse will continue as a confusion for love and traumatic/emotional bonding will occur and the cycle of abuse will continue on. Preventing adolescent dating abuse, intimate partner violence, and the cycle of violence/abuse is essential. This can and should be done with in-classroom education and school district policies that teach adolescents about healthy relationship skills and learning how to spot red flags and what love and a healthy relationship is. Adolescents will be able to start looking at relationships they have seen growing up and talking about healthier relationships while breaking the cycle of violence/abuse. Adolescents can begin to have real conversations and understanding in order to have empowerment to lead healthier relationships and begin to create a cultural shift from normalizing IPV to dismantling the very power and control that it entails.
This will be a continued discussion and project being worked on through multiple disciplinary fields. Once we have a clearer picture of how we can achieve this it will be going forward to trying to implement laws. I hope that you can join in to make this happen and a reality also for the future of our communities and children's lives.