New course focuses on teen dating abuse

September 29, 2010 3:03:39 PM PDT
Dina Tush has first hand and tragic experience with how technology can sometimes help lead to teen dating violence.

"We had the illusion that our lives were OK and that everything would be fine and it wasn't," she said.

Her daughter, Jessica, was brutally murdered by the teenager's boyfriend following a relationship that included so-called digital abuse.

"I missed a lot of the signs that I should have picked up because I didn't know what the signs were that she was being abused through the whole relationship," she said.

Dina helped launch a new curriculum today at Stuyvesant High School designed to help teens avoid becoming victims or abusers.

"It's technology. It's I-Ming, texting, sexting. That's the problem,"Judge Jeanine Pirro said.

The former Westchester County District Attorney, Pirro was on hand to support the curriculum.

"One third of teens in this country are affected by teen dating abuse; physical, sexual or threats. Stalking, controlling, monitoring," she said.

The curriculum, called Love Is Not Abuse, has a strong component against digital abuse. It supported by the Liz Claiborne Corporation.

"So we thought if we could get into the schools, teach them in the schools about this issue so that they can either help themselves or friends or someone they know who perhaps they think is an abuser, it would really go a long way," Jane Randel of Liz Claiborne said.

"We learned our lesson and we're trying to save other kids out there and the other parents from going through all the grief and the anguish that we had to go through," Tush said.