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Preventing Abuse and Violence through Education (PAVE)

Our PAVE program is in 17 schools in our service area. PAVE Educators start in the elementary schools to educate young children on family violence, self-esteem and healthy communication. In junior high PAVE Educators focus on age-related issues around family abuse and violence in the schools. Educators at this point not only focus on classroom presentations, but work with students both individually and in group settings on family abuse issues, healthy relationships, anger management, communication skills at home and in school, as well as bullying and harassment.

As students enter high school, they have already acquired a firm understanding of violence prevention and established strong relationships with PAVE Educators and their peers. In high school, PAVE Educators continue to educate students on domestic violence, focusing both on dating abuse and violence in the home, peer relationships and violence prevention in the schools.

TEEN DATING VIOLENCE SITE FOR INFORMATION ON HEALTHY DATING RELATIONSHIPS

pave the way project


Teen Dating Violence and Abusive Relationships

WHAT IS IT?

Dating Violence is a pattern of behaviors whereby one person uses intimidation, confusion, isolation, and fear to control the relationship.

This definition can be applied to both adult domestic violence and teen dating violence. However, teen dating violence is often overlooked by parents, siblings, and friends.

WHAT TEENS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED DATING VIOLENCE TELL PAVE STAFF:

  • Adults often underestimate the significance of the relationship.

  • Couples in middle and high school don’t live together, so there is not the physical isolation as with adult domestic violence.

  • Dating pressures in school are high and students report feeling more secure if they are in a relationship.

  • Many teens view abuse as an issue faced by adults and have difficulty identifying their situation as abusive.

  • Fear of retaliation towards abusive partner keeps victims from telling friends and family.

  • Leaving an abuser can be extremely difficult when attending the same school.

  • Many families have rules about dating that are not followed and increases the likelihood that the victim will not report abuse.

  • Parents are often overwhelmed when they find out about the abuse because they never knew their child was dating someone.

  • Legal issues, like obtaining a Restraining Order, must include parents/guardians.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Whatever a young person’s reasons are for staying with an abusive person, it’s important to keep in mind that those reasons are very important and should not be overlooked or minimized.

Many factors can play a part in a victim’s decision making:
Love, hope, hopelessness, embarrassment, shame, loyalty, not wanting or knowing how to be alone, guilt, wanting to rescue the abuser from their own bad behavior


KEEP IN MIND THERE IS NO "RIGHT" WAY TO HELP, TRY TO THINK ABOUT:

  • Your relationship with the young person
  • What you know about dating violence
  • When and where it will be safe to talk with her/him
  • How the young person might react and how you’d like someone to talk with you
  • Ask respectful questions
  • Listen and believe what they say without judgment or shock
  • Connect you friend with resources like Cornerstone
  • Get guidance if you need help approaching someone
  • Be There. Be Patient. It takes an average of 7 times of “breaking up” to actually make it happen in abusive relationships.


Where do I go for help?

Cornerstone’s Preventing Abuse and Violence through Education (PAVE) program specializes in serving youth who are struggling with an abusive dating relationship, family violence, unhealthy anger, bullying or harassment in their school. A Cornerstone staff person is on-site at local South Hennepin County schools and available by appointment.

If you’d like your child to connect
with Cornerstone please call their
guidance counselor or call
Cornerstone at 952-884-0376.