After School partnered with Kaity’s Way to engage teenagers across America in a discussion about teen dating violence. A total of 10,439 teens, ages 13-18, participated in an in-app poll. The poll included fictional scenarios that mirrored situations where relationship abuse may be present. The teens were asked to determine if they thought there was relationship abuse or not.
- Jake gets slapped by Jenny, so he pushes her
- Yes — 58.69%
- No — 22.22%
- IDK — 19.10%
- Alexa tells Jamie she isn’t good looking, but that she loves her anyway
- Yes — 47.39%
- No — 37.55%
- IDK — 15.06%
- Drew asks Mark,”Do you still love me?” over and over
- Yes — 33.72%
- No — 52.41%
- IDK — 13.86%
- Ali tells Dee what to wear and who they can hang out with
- Yes — 80.48%
- No — 14.74%
- IDK — 4.78%
What Still Needs to be Addressed
Kaity’s Way Founder Bobbi Sudberry was impressed with the participation in the poll, noting, “a vast majority understand controlling behavior as abusive, which is encouraging.” However, Bobbi believes that further education is needed in order to help teens protect themselves against teen dating violence.
“These results show us that, no teens do not know enough about teen dating violence or healthy relationships to make informed decisions about their partners or who they associate themselves with. We need more adults and teens taking a stand and letting the powers that be know that teens need and want this education in their schools.”
Bobbi states that when she presents to schools, students are very engaged and understand that teen dating violence happens frequently. However, according to Bobbi, “they just don’t know how to identify it and deal with it.” Bobbi emphasizes the importance of schools focusing on this issue and bringing in subject matter experts to raise awareness to this problem among youth and equip them with the tools needed to empower them to stop it in their own relationships and assist their peers in overcoming it. “Until the school system lets us in, we, being agencies such as Kaity’s Way, need to do what they can to promote their program and provide independent opportunities to obtain this education through workshops, holding conferences, working with the juvenile justice system and then educators to guest present for their classes,” says Bobbi.
“As a company, After School is fortunate to be able to have amazing partners, like Kaity’s Way, that are at the forefront of key issues confronting today’s teens,” says After School Vict President Jeff Collins. “Bobbi and her team’s efforts are making a concrete difference in real lives,” continues Jeff.
Bobbi called the campaign a success on several levels, stating that the number of students participating and the information gained from participation could make a significant impact.
Taking Action, Learning More About Teen Dating Violence
The poll also included a call to action to learn more about teen dating violence and how to stop it. Those who clicked to learn more were presented with the following information:
When you’re in a healthy relationship, disagreements and frustrations are handled without yelling, hitting, pushing, or long-term damage to your physical or mental health.
Abuse looks different in every ship. In some it’s being humiliated in front of friends or being told that you’re a bad person, while in others it could be physical abuse like slapping. You or anyone else doesn’t deserve to be hurt in a relationship.
If you or a friend are in an abusive relationship, work with an adult to create a safety plan. If this adult is not listening to you, find one you trust who will. Visit Kaity’s Way here for more.
After School would like to thank Kaity’s Way for their work spreading awareness and preventing teen dating violence, and for partnering with us for this impactful campaign. To learn more about this initiative and the Change 💩 campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.