Rachel Vicario and Darian Wilkom
Domestic violence is an ever-present issue within our culture. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Domestic violence affects people in all socioeconomic groups, geographic locations, genders, sexual orientation, and races. However, particular populations remain at an increased risk of exposure. Among these vulnerable populations are teenagers and young adults. In fact, one in three high school students are exposed to physical or sexual violence by someone they are dating. This begs the question, what can we do to prevent violence and protect our youth? As student attorneys, we have trained over 600 local high school students about the risks associated with their population, the importance of consent, and the resources available to them. Our curriculum has been specifically developed to target teens between the ages of 14 and 18. Through our program, students learn about the nature of a domestically violent relationship and an abuser's use of power and control to establish dominance over their victim. Students participate in an hour long program, broken into instructional and hands-on learning segments. Their participation in the program is often enthusiastic and insightful, providing not only hope in the efficacy of the program, but also in the students' ability to appreciate the value in the program. In order to continue this critical work, we are modifying our format to create a virtual presentation for use by high school health teachers.
Domestic violence is a pervasive issue. It knows no socioeconomic status, geographic location, gender, sexual orientation, or race. While domestic violence affects and reaches all groups, distinct populations are at increased risk of exposure. Among these vulnerable populations are women, teenagers, and young adults. Research tells us one in three high school students are exposed to violence by someone they are dating. However, as we know, knowledge is power. To that end, as student attorneys, we visit local high schools to educate students about the risks associated with their population, the importance of consent, and the resources available to them.
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