January 14, 2010 | Diane Johnson | 1 Comment Teachers in five school districts are taking part in a new state Department of Education teacher education initiative aimed at reducing family and dating violence. The special curriculum will focus on the effects of domestic violence and teen dating violence on children and teens. Through the training teachers will learn how to identify and support a child witness and how to respond to a child’s disclosure along with how to make the appropriate referrals for help. The aim is to prevent sexual misconduct in schools, child and teen suicides, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse which is often a result of the abuse and violence these students witness. This program training teachers is called the Student Protection Project and school districts want to focus on not only stopping but preventing things that are hurting or killing students. More and more kids are being exposed to violence and once they are abused the cycle is likely to continue. They may continue to be abused throughout their lives or even become an abuser, which is why teachers must learn how to deal with violence. Generally, females tend to be victims of abuse more often than males. Girls make up 86% of victims in dating violence and 83% of spouse abuse victims. And couples that earn less than $25k annually are three times more likely to experience partner abuse than those with a higher annual income. These statistics show that violence in America is a serious issue and more widespread than we’d like to think. And to top it off most cases of domestic violence are never reported to police. But luckily schools are realizing that violence is an issue and it greatly affects students. They realize that if students are worried about their safety they may not know how or where to get help and school is most likely the furthest thing from their mind. Plus teachers need to keep their eyes and ears open because sometimes students try to hide abuse and it’s important that teachers know the signs and how to help them. Violence is a major problem and it affects children. When children are exposed or suffering from abuse they need help and that is why teachers are being educated about dating violence and domestic violence. And unfortunately abuse is a cycle that keeps repeating itself so these teachers need to help these kids get out of that situation because abuse can really affect them and alter the choices that they make in their lives.