Teen Domestic Violence Workshop Web Site
Columbus Community Legal Services houses the in-house clinic legal education programs of the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America. Back in 1978, through the support of the D.C. Bar Foundation, the clinic began to offer specialized legal services to victims of domestic violence. Through the years, faculty and students in the clinic were frustrated by the limitations in the use of legal interventions to end domestic violence. Seeking civil protection orders and other family law remedies could only go so far - and were often sought for people who had suffered family violence for many years. Early intervention through community education offeres hope for having an impact on the seemingly endless stream of family violence cases and from the cyclical nature of violence both within relationships and inter-generationally. In 1993, when the clinic gained Department of Education funding to expand our domestic violence program and develop the Families and the Law Clinic, creating a community education curriculum for teens to be taught in local high schools became one of our priorities.
The workshop curriculum you see at this website is the result of several years of refinement. In fact, this is an ongoing project. The curriculum has been used by our clinic, by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia's Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and by others in the District of Columbia to create a dialogue about, develop an awareness of and create strategies for dealing with domestic violence relationships. Locally, a principal venue has been the District of Columbia public high schools, although local community groups have used it for many other teen groups as well.
The curriculum has also been used by others across the country. In response to growing requests for this curriculum, we have developed this website to facilitate access to the curriculum. Please feel free to adapt and use the curriculum, as long as you give appropriate attribution. Domestic violence is a reality in the lives of many teens. They need to know the signs of a dangerous relationship, how to get out of such a relationship, how to help others in such relationships, and, significantly, what a good relationship looks like. Hopefully, the curriculum will help achieve these goals.
We would love to hear about your experiences in using it and welcome your suggestions for improvement.