What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing!

(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)

What Educators Need to Know About Online Sex Trafficking
August 23, 2016
What Educators Need to Know About Online Sex Trafficking

By Pamela Anderson, PhD, and Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 23, 2016    
Senior Research Associate and Senior Editor, ETR

First published on the Psychology Benefits Society blog of the American Psychological Association.

What comes to mind when you hear the words “sex trafficking”?

If you’re like a lot of people, you might think of a sinister alley in a foreign country serving as the local red light district. Or you might imagine a woman who comes to the U.S. with hopes of a better life for herself and her family who is then forced to sell her body to pay debt bondage. Maybe you think of a young woman violently forced by a hated pimp to work the streets.

While all of these images do constitute forms of sex trafficking, they barely begin to tell the story. And as these disturbing pictures run through our minds, few of us add to our list the children and teens in our own communities. We aren’t likely to think of the students in our classrooms as they navigate the Internet or check their social network sites.

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Tags: Human trafficking, Technology, Sexual and reproductive health, Sexual violence prevention, Violence prevention
How to Talk with Students About Electronic Dating Violence
June 22, 2016
How to Talk with Students About Electronic Dating Violence

By Pamela Anderson, PhD, & Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES  | June 22, 2016
Senior Research Associate & Senior Editor, ETR

Originally published at EdSurge.

Teens, tweens and even younger kids are on smartphones, tablets and computers a lot. Of course, tech can be a force for good. Parents, educators and youth themselves report many benefits from the presence of technology in young people’s lives—connecting with family and friends, sharing experiences with distant peers, learning, being entertained and more.

But there are also a number of challenges. These include cyberbullying and online harassment. Beyond these lies another troublesome area with less data and little recognition by young people themselves: electronic dating violence (EDV).

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Tags: Electronic dating violence, Violence prevention, Teens, Technology
Use Trauma-Informed Strategies to Transform Your School
January 6, 2016
Use Trauma-Informed Strategies to Transform Your School

By Alicia Rozum, MSW, PPSC | January 6, 2016
Project Director, Mental Health, California School-Based Alliance

Have you ever tried to reason with an irrational person? Generally, it’s a pretty futile endeavor. You’re processing up in your cerebral cortex, being rational and using logic. The other person is literally or figuratively placing fingers in ears and saying, “La la la la la. I can’t hear you.”

This is an experience many school professionals have on a daily basis. They come across students who are inattentive or provocative. Who aggravate peers. Who sometimes can’t control their emotions. Who lash out, strike out, shout out, and sometimes threaten harm to others or themselves.

A powerful practice called trauma-informed care can help all of us make better sense of such interactions. Schools that implement this practice are called trauma-informed or trauma-sensitive schools. In my work as a school social worker and with the California School-Based Health Alliance, I’ve had an opportunity to see these approaches transform schools, communities and the lives of individual students (see the case study at the end of this post for a great example).

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Tags: K-12, School mental health, Trauma, Mental health, School health
College Sexual Assault: Apps to Address the Problem
August 20, 2015
College Sexual Assault: Apps to Address the Problem

By Monica Sun | August 20, 2015
MPH Student, Tulane University | 2015 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

Currently, there is heated debate on how colleges are handling campus sexual assault cases. One in every 4 or 5 women (between 20%-25%) will experience a sexual assault during her academic year. Nearly 5% of college women will face this experience in any calendar year. These statistics emphasize the significance of the issue and the importance of finding mechanisms to reduce these rates.

Within the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced bills (H.R.1490 and S.706) that require colleges receiving certain types of federal funding to designate an independent advocate to oversee campus sexual assault prevention and responses. A bipartisan group of representatives has just introduced a bill (H.R.2680) designed to remedy the tendency of colleges to cover up and under-report incidents.

It’s not only the government that is trying to improve efforts of colleges to effectively investigate sexual assault cases. Many organizations are developing mobile apps for students and young adults to use to protect themselves with the involvement of the community.

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Tags: Mobile apps, Sexual assault prevention, College
OMG Who's Texting Me Now? New Research on Electronic Dating Violence
May 4, 2015
OMG Who's Texting Me Now? New Research on Electronic Dating Violence

By Pamela Anderson, PhD | May 4, 2015
Senior Research Associate, ETR

I think most of us can remember the first time we had a crush on someone. I do. It was Axl Rose, lead singer for the band Guns N’ Roses. Much to my family’s chagrin, I had his pictures splashed across my bedroom walls. I played his music virtually nonstop for months, while imagining what it would be like to be his girlfriend.

But my first noncelebrity crush and subsequent “real” boyfriend was in 7th grade—a boy named Bob. We spent a lot of time passing notes to each other in class or in the hallways at school, but not a lot of time talking to each other in person.

Today, things are so different. Technology has changed the way teens communicate with one another and the rest of the world.

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Tags: Electronic dating violence, Health education, Sexual and reproductive health, Technology
Video Picks - TED Bullying Playlist
December 5, 2014
Video Picks - TED Bullying Playlist

By ETR | December 5, 2014

If you’re ready for some powerful and illuminating video viewing, take a look at the TED Bullying Playlist. Four speakers and one heart-lifting musical performance will give you new insights and more than a few moments of reflection.

There are lots of opportunities for student projects using these videos. Review videos before sharing with your students to be sure the content is appropriate—there are some adult themes and a couple of instances of profanity.

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Tags: Bullying, Violence prevention, Teens