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Sources of Help for Dating Violence Victims: A Qualitative Inquiry Into the Perceptions of African American Teens


In 2013, LPHI partnered with Dr. Aubrey Madkour from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine to conduct a study of African American teens’ perceptions of adolescent dating violence. Some of the key findings were about where teens go for help if they or a friend are in an unhealthy dating relationship.

Teens were most likely to seek help from friends, who were largely expected to provide advice and comfort. Nearly half reported that they would be likely to seek help from family, who would provide more active responses to dating violence (i.e., reporting to authorities, confronting the abuser). Although they were less likely to seek help from adults, adults were perceived as more effective at stopping abuse compared with peers. Finally, it was noted that interventions that train peer helpers, explain confidentiality to teens, increase school personnel’s ability to provide confidential counseling, and promote use of health services may improve access to help for teen dating violence victims.

An article about the study was published in October 2016 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Click here to read more.