Empowering Teens

Ninth grade girls discuss photos of a staged crime scene during a kIDsafe session.

Empowering Teens at the National Law Enforcement Museum

Although domestic violence is generally acknowledged as a severe public safety problem, its counterpart among youth—teen dating violence—is not.  The National Law Enforcement Museum is currently creating a program that will bring attention to this unrecognized problem. To help put this issue into perspective, consider the following statistics from Break the Cycle, a leading teen dating violence prevention organization:
One in three teens will experience some form of dating violence.

  • Women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate partner violence—nearly triple the overall average.

  • Studies indicate a high correlation between dating violence and other juvenile delinquent behavior. In fact, nearly 92% of girls who enter the correctional system report being victims of physical or sexual abuse.
    Teen victims of domestic violence are substantially more likely than their classmates to bring guns or other weapons to school and three times as likely to be involved in a physical fight.

Teens must realize, in the words of Break the Cycle's Executive Director, Marjorie Gilberg, that “some behaviors are not just wrong, they are illegal.”  Obviously, the National Law Enforcement Museum’s ultimate goal is to stop the violence before it starts. Promoting healthy relationships among youth is vital to ending this hidden epidemic.  That’s why the Museum has developed the kIDsafe program.  Funded in part by the Verizon Foundation, the program for middle and high school groups empowers teens by:

  • Providing a safe space where conversations about dating violence can occur
  • Enabling youth to recognize the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • Helping them know their rights and responsibilities in a dating relationship
  • Giving participants the tools they need to be able to help someone who may be involved in an unhealthy relationship
  • Providing access to helpful resources for support and guidance.

During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships with others. The kIDsafe program provides youth during this formative time with strategies to guide their developing relationships and prevent patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood. If you have a group of teens you would like to participate in the kIDsafe program, please contact Dean MacLeod, Evaluation & Community Education Specialist, at 202-737-7982 or dmacleod@nleomf.org.


Museum Insider Home

Newseum Exhibiting Trial Pass issued to J. Edgar Hoover

A Rogues’ Gallery: Thomas Byrnes and Professional Criminals in America

Empowering Teens at the National Law Enforcement Museum

Exhibits of the National Law Enforcement Museum: The Hall of Remembrance
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