Feb. 27, 2013 - PRLog -- DRAPER, Utah -- As the end of February approaches, the anonymous school tip line, SafeToTalk, hopes to make a final push towards teen dating violence awareness. February is national ‘Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month,’ which means that now is a great time for parents and schools to talk to teens about safety while dating.
Many teens appear to be happy, but are actually suffering from dating abuse. TheCloseLineProject.org, states that approximately 1 in 5 female high school students have been physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner, and over 20% of all homicides against females ages 16-19 were committed by an intimate partner.
SafeToTalk is currently being utilized in over 1300 schools across the country. It receives hundreds of tips from students and parents each day regarding safety issues, including teen dating violence.
Recently, a tip was submitted concerning a high school cheerleader who was seen in the locker room with bruises all over her back. The school responded to the tip immediately and learned that the girl was in an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend had been beating her when she refused to consent to his sexual requests. The school was able to help relieve the teen of the abusive relationship and assist in her rehabilitation. Many administrators throughout the nation are relying on school tip lines to help with situations just like this.
“We receive a handful of tips each week,” said Sydney Hackford, Assistant Principal, Lone Peak High School, Highland, UT. “I’m convinced that some of the tips we’ve received have saved lives. Not all of the tips are life and death situations, but they definitely help make our school safer.”
Although SafeToTalk works hard to encourage students to report safety tips, parents need to be actively involved in their teen’s relationships. The Empower Program’s teen abuse guide reports that over 54 percent of parents have not talked to their teens about dating abuse. In order to protect teens, parents need to communicate with them about how to stay safe while dating, and how to get help for abuse.
SafeToTalk helps break the silence barrier between students and school faculty throughout the nation. The anonymous tip line allows students to report incidents of school violence, bullying, drugs, weapons, and other safety concerns via text or web submission. Kids become the eyes and ears of school administration, protecting themselves and their friends from unsafe situations.