CALCASA participated in a meeting of the California Teen Dating Violence Prevention Project to support gathering data and information about teen dating violence in Alameda County. The California Department of Public Health is one of six state health departments awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address teen dating violence in urban areas. The project will conduct an environmental scan and develop a data inventory on teen dating violence in Alameda County. This effort will build upon the valuable work conducted by the Alameda County Teen Dating Violence Task Force.
The term “Teen Dating Violence” raises many questions such as
- Who is a teen? Is adolescent or young person a better term?
- Does the term ‘dating” adequately address the range of relationships young people are involved in?
- Does the term “violence” or “abuse” best describe the range of behaviors we are looking at?
What is clear is that sexual abuse must be addressed simultaneously with physical abuse and other controlling behaviors. This effort includes both domestic violence agencies and rape crisis centers.
As this project develops I will share my impressions of its work and the implications for prevention efforts.