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Khubchandani has done extensive research on administrator preparedness in situations of teen dating violence, and he found in a recent study that over three-quarters of high schools don't have protocols in place to help victims of teen dating violence.Moreover, Khubchandani says 62% of schools don't provide training to administrators and faculty on how to aid these victims in the past two years, and almost two-thirds of school violence prevention policies don't specifically discuss plans for handling situations of intimate partner violence amongst adolescents.Break the Cycle also has resources available for learning more about how to talk to a peer experiencing abuse.For teens experiencing abuse, Sperling says the critical thing is that those young people know they're not alone.Students aren't the only ones having trouble deciphering the signs and taking them seriously; many adults, including those who work at schools or in other situations with young people, have trouble as well.According to Sperling, one of the biggest challenges facing adults, including parents, is that many people mistakenly believe that abuse starts with physical violence as opposed to emotional or verbal abuse.Why don't more students and young people come forward when they see signs of intimate partner violence among their peers?Melanie Sperling, chief of staff at One Love Foundation, tells that it's largely cultural.
Even if young people do tell an authority figure what's happening, many adults fail to help or offer resources.
Various media have reinforced the idea that behaviors like jealousy and manipulation are "typical" aspects of relationships, and in particular, relationships between young people are often painted as "dramatic" instead of abusive.
Furthermore, Jagdish Khubchandani, an associate professor of community health at Ball State University, says that research has shown that signs of abuse, particularly if a victim speaks up, are often met with ridicule from peers.
Khubchandani notes that people who spend their days around young people, like teachers and school administrators, can create clear-cut policies that are regularly reviewed.
De Ladesmo says that being transparent with students about these policies is critical to making sure young people make decisions that they feel are best for them.