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Bar News - March 19, 2014

New Bar Program Teaches About Teen Dating Violence

A new program of the New Hampshire Bar Association will bring lawyers and judges into classrooms around the state to teach students about the warning signs and consequences of dating violence and where they can find help.

Violence in adolescent and teen dating relationships can establish a pattern that increases the risk for experiencing severe domestic violence later in life. The NH Bar Association has joined the effort to break the cycle by establishing When Love Hurts: Rights, Responsibilities, Realities of Teen Dating Violence. This program will be offered to attorney and judge volunteers who will visit classrooms as part of A Lawyer and Judge in Every School day, Friday, May 2, in celebration of Law Day in New Hampshire.

Attorneys and judges who choose to participate in the program will receive pre-selected video clips designed to spark discussion and learning during presentations to students in grades 8-12. The clips show abusive behavior in dating relationships that often escalates to physical violence.

National studies on teen dating violence reveal staggering statistics. The website, a partnership of Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Hotline, reports that:
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
One in three adolescents in the United States is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
To make this public outreach effort a success, the NH Bar Association needs lawyers and judges to volunteer for these presentations. Members can also help by recruiting schools and teachers who are interested in hosting a lawyer or judge in their classrooms, either for the dating violence prevention program or another Law Day presentation on civics, law, and government, which can be presented to students in elementary school through high school.

When Love Hurts: Rights, Responsibilities, Realities of Teen Dating Violence is the product of an initiative by NH Bar President Jaye Rancourt.

To view the classroom materials for When Love Hurts, visit the Law Related Education page. For more information, please contact LRE Coordinator Robin E. Knippers.

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