You may have the perfect relationship. But probably someone you know doesn’t. Check out the real facts of teen dating abuse here. Read More »

Warning Signs

Abuse escalates. Know the signs from early warnings to the lethal threats. It could save a life. Read More »

For Parents

DASH is for Parents: Articles and resources designed to keep you up to date with your teen, to keep you tech savvy, and to help you stay involved. Read More »

For Friends

DASH is for friends! Do you suspect your friend is in an abusive relationship. You CAN help. Read More »

For Guys

DASH is for guys. Be part of the solution. Get the facts and be a great role model for the people in YOUR life. Read More »


No New Trial for Huguely

A judge has denied George Huguely the re-trial requested by his defense team during a hearing on August 22, 2012, the Associated Press reported. The former University of Virginia lacrosse player was convicted in February of the beating death of his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love in May 2010. Huguely’s lawyers filed a motion for a new trial based on their belief that the jury should have been sequestered and the illness of one of the attorneys called for a continuance or delay of the trial. Charlottesville Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire determined that there was enough evidence against Huguely to support his conviction on the murder charge. Huguely will be sentenced on August 30th.

Read more about the case at http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/former-uva-lacrosse-player-convicted-in-ex-girlfriends-slaying-seeking-new-trial/2012/08/22/37b77422-ec23-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html?hpid=z8

Strangulation now a felony in Virginia

Strangulation is one of the lethal warning signs in teen dating abuse and in domestic violence. As of July 1, 2012, in the State of Virginia attempting to strangle someone is a class 6 felony. The new law, which began as bill HB752 / SB459 from Del. Benjamin Clin (R-24th District) and Sen. Mark Herring (D-33rd District) makes strangulation offenses punishable as a Class 6 Felony with up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. In addition, the new law applies to those in dating relationships rather than just those in households.

Before this law was enacted, strangulation was a misdemeanor like assault, battery or injury to a person. According to the domestic violence group Safe Harbor Shelter:

Strangulation is a common form of domestic violence

  • victims can lose consciousness within 10 seconds;
  • brain death can begin in 4-5 minutes;
  • short- and long-term physical, psychological and neurological health effects can occur;
  • accounts for 10% of violent deaths in US and most victims are women
  • injuries (including fatal injuries) can be sustained even several hours after an attack

School counselors lack training in teen dating violence

A nation-wide assessment of school counselors concludes that most do not have the proper training to help victims of teen dating violence. The August 2012 issue of  Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, published the study which looked at the knowledge, training, perceptions, and practices of school counselors in dealing with teen dating violence incidents (described in the report as Adolescent Dating Violence ADV).

A questionnaire was sent to 550 members of the American School Counselors Association. From the 305 responses (58%), the report found:

“A majority of the school counselors reported that they did not have a protocol in their schools to respond to an incident of ADV (81.3%). Additionally, the majority (90%) of counselors reported that in the past 2 years, training to assist survivors of teen dating abuse has not been provided to personnel in their schools, their school did not conduct periodic student surveys that include questions on teen dating abuse behaviors (83%), and their school did not have a committee that meets periodically to address health and safety issues that include teen dating abuse (76%).”

Warning Signs – Substance Abuse

DASH’s early warning signs are meant to guide you in determining whether your relationship is healthy. In this series of articles, we will explore each warning sign in more depth so that you will have a better idea about what each sign means and if you need to address a problem in your relationship.

Our seventh early warning sign of abuse is:

Substance Abuse

You’ve been taught since elementary school that drugs and alcohol are bad news. With good reason, your teachers and parents have tried to impress on you the dangers of substance abuse. These dangers can escalate when your dating partner is under the influence.

Someone who uses drugs or alcohol can become more violent and paranoid.  A person under the influence does not have the same control over his/her emotions or reactions as when sober. A small issue or incident may get blown out of proportion. Whatever “little” things bother him/her will suddenly become big things. You may be caught in the cross-fire of a paranoid reaction. You are the one your partner may take his/her frustrations out on. If your partner exhibits other warning signs of dating abuse (threatens you, insults you, tells you what to do), he/she will only become worse under the influence.