Peace Over Violence, one of the CALCASA’s member agencies, has been in the news discussing teen dating violence.
For nearly “two weeks after the alleged Feb. 8 assault involving R&B singer Chris Brown and his girlfriend, the singer Rihanna, teen fans of the couple searched for ways to minimize the episode or justify what sounded like a caffeinated lovers’ quarrel between two very young, very beautiful people.” Patti Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence, said this is a “teachable moment;” an opportunity to talk about teen dating violence, domestic violence and its prevalence within the youth community today.
“A lot of kids were saying, ‘I thought maybe he just slapped her. I thought he just pushed her,’ ” says Patti Giggans.
If there’s any silver lining to the bleak story, counselors and parents say, it’s that young people can take lessons from relationship violence playing out so vividly — and so brutally — in people so young: She’s 21, he’s 19.
The case, as ugly as it is, is doing more than any in recent memory, she and others say, to “bust the misconception that it can’t happen with kids, with young people.”
Research shows that violence shows up in about one in four teen relationships, a figure that hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years, says Lenore Walker, a psychology professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, and the author of 15 books, most of them about violence against women and children.