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How To Take Action In Your Child’s School

Call your child’s school and ask what provisions are made for school dating abuse policies. Recommended provisions could include:

  • A statement that dating abuse and sexual assault will not be tolerated by the school.
  • The designation of a staff member as “Dating Abuse Coordinator” and the notification to students, parents, and teachers that this individual handles all complaints and requests relating to dating abuse.
  • Creation of in-school stay-away orders that require the abuser to maintain a certain distance from the target of the abuse at all times, and require the abuser to refrain from contacting the target. The school should also create reporting and enforcement procedures and disciplinary measures for violations of stay-away orders.
  • Accommodations that can be granted to a target of abuse to assist him or her to avoid the abuser on campus, including: change of locker assignment, change of lab group or work group assignment, schedule changes, and designated routes for the abuser and target in and out of the school building.
  • Accommodations for targets of abuse that allow them to pursue legal action against the abuser or obtain necessary counseling or medical care for the abuse, including excused absences from classes.
  • Methods for enforcing civil or criminal orders of protection held by students.
  • Training for staff, including any security guards or police personnel that work at the school, on dating abuse and sexual assault, as well as enforcement of the school’s dating abuse policy and enforcement of civil or criminal orders of protection.
  • Creation of a system of referrals to community-based organizations and mental and physical health care services for targets and perpetrators of dating abuse and sexual assault.
  • Restorative practices to allow perpetrators of abuse to recognize and change their behaviors through counseling and support services. School discipline (e.g. suspensions, detentions) and police involvement should only be used as a last resort if the abuse poses a significant danger to the school community. (courtesy of www.legalmomentum.org)
  • Check with you child’s school that a comprehensive unit on dating abuse is included in the curriculum.
  • Recommend DASH to your child’s school.

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