One third of women and a quarter of men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. This often starts early. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 23% of women and 14% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced this before turning 18.
As the leading teen-focused social network in the U.S., After School works to help teens navigate issues they face, including stress, depression, isolation, bullying and more. Through our partnership with Crisis Text Line, we connect at-risk teens in need of help with trained Crisis Counselors. The data we receive from these connections shows that the most common issue teens struggle with is romantic relationships.
To strengthen our support for users, After School recently partnered with Kaity’s Way, a nonprofit organization that advocates for healthy teen relationships by providing education, skills and tools to youth and their allies. Kaity’s Way was co-founded by Bobbi Sudberry, who became an advocate for victims after she lost her daughter Kaity to teen dating violence. Bobbi educated lawmakers, teens, families, and others about the issue. Her efforts led the Arizona legislature to pass pioneering dating violence legislation known as “Kaity’s Law,” which became a model for many other states to follow. The efforts of Bobbi and volunteers have empowered many teens and their families to aid in the prevention and intervention of future tragedies.
After School is partnering with Kaity’s Way to raise awareness of teen dating violence and to better detect potential instances of dating violence on our platform. Our Safety Team recently worked with Bobbi to discuss the warning signs of teen dating violence. Working with her network and other subject matter experts, Bobbi provided After School with a comprehensive list of potential phrases that a user would share that exhibit the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Phrases include “I feel like I am being smothered” and “No one understands what I’m going through.” After School will incorporate these and similar phrases into our technical moderation programming.
Thanks to the help of Bobbi and Kaity’s Way, After School is able to take a proactive approach to detecting instances of teen dating violence and providing help to both victims and those who may be harming others.
Going forward, After School will continue to work with Kaity’s Way and experts in this field to help teens navigate difficulties and issues associated with relationships. To learn more about Kaity’s Way, visit kaitysway.org.