“If young people perceive that their friends think that dating violence is acceptable, they’re more likely either to experience or perpetrate violence,” said Bachman. “Dispelling this myth that it’s normal to experience that in your relationships is really important, because people are having that validated as normal all the time by the people around them.”
Nationally, one in three teens reports dating abuse. And reports in physical dating violence have risen in the city over the past 20 years, according to Day One. There are 1,400 calls every month from teenagers to the NYC Domestic Violence Hotline. In the past six months, a Brooklyn teen was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend and a Queens man was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl he met online.
Studies show that comprehensive sex education can reduce dating violence by as much as 60 percent. While four in 10 New York City students don’t receive comprehensive sex education in school, educators and nonprofits are pushing to teach consent to all children starting in elementary school.