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Bar News - January 21, 2015

NHBA Program Targets Teen Dating Violence

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month the perfect time to speak to young people about forming healthy relationships.

A New Hampshire Bar Association program brings lawyers and judges into classrooms around the state to teach students about the warning signs and consequences of dating violence.

Violence in 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. A single-session curriculum for students in middle and high school, this program provides a teaching guide and video clips to aid attorneys and judges who volunteers to visit classrooms. 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 to give these presentations to students. Association 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 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 2013-14 NH Bar President Jaye Rancourt.

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

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