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Does informing dating abuse policy within the education system in Mariposa County Unified School District (MCUSD) promote school environments that support healthy relationships and thereby contribute to intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention. 


Efforts to understand and prevent dating abuse utilize methods and strategies such as community outreach, community-based programs, health education, public awareness, and education campaigns.

Our strategy is to:

  1. Work with a coalition to address dating abuse and community and social change.
  2. Create and deliver messaging around the issue of dating abuse.
  3. Develop dating abuse prevention protocol and policy guidelines.


  • A five year cooperative agreement funding 10  state domestic violence coalition grantees to engage in primary prevention of intimate partner violence .
  • Each state grantee supports one or two coordinated community response teams (CCRs) to implement strategies at the local level.
  • The DELTA FOCUS project runs from March 2013 to February 2018.


The Problem:

  •  Approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth (Davis, 2008).
  • Nationwide, 1 in 10 high school students (9.9 percent) has been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend (Eaton et al., 2010).
  • According to the CDC, teens who abuse their dating partner have high rates of violence against other teens.
  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications for victims by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, suicide, and adult re-victimization.
  • Digital abuse and “sexting” is becoming a new frontier for teen dating abuse. 1 in 3 teens say they are text messaged 10 to 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with (Baum et al., 2009).
  • Primary prevention programs are a key part of addressing teen dating violence and many successful community examples include education, community outreach, and social marketing campaigns that also understand the cultural appropriateness of programs.

Best Practices Would Include:

  • Provide prevention education to students on topics of healthy relationships and dating abuse, namely within health education and the athletics program.
  • Provide ongoing professional development to school staff on topics of healthy relationships and dating abuse.
  • Provide parent/caregiver engagement opportunities.
  • Establish a reporting and response protocol.
  • Coordinate appropriate intervention and response to incidences or complaints of dating abuse.
  • Establish ongoing tools to monitor and assess dating abuse prevention activities and intervention techniques.
  • Provide annual written notice to parents/caregivers and students of school policy.

Please take a look at our accomplishments from the past 5 years.

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