Editors note: The Chris Brown and Rihanna survey was designed to inform teen dating violence prevention programming for the new Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships Initiative at the Boston Public Health Commission. The survey results only represent the opinions of the 200 Boston teens who were surveyed and cannot be generalized to a broader population.
Chris Brown-Rihanna Survey Results to Be Discussed Thursday
BOSTON-- On the heels of a Boston Public Health Commission survey that found nearly half of the Boston teens polled blamed pop star Rihanna for a February incident with singer Chris Brown, the Commission is inviting the public to a community forum on teen dating violence. The forum, titled Beyond Rihanna and Chris Brown: Moving the Conversation Forward about Teen Dating Violence, will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, 2009 at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center Ballroom, 328 Huntington Avenue, Boston.
“The forum is the next step in our conversation with teens on dating violence,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Commission’s executive director. “We don’t want to just talk about teens. We want to talk with them so we can understand the issue better and ensure that they have opportunities to gain the skills needed to build healthy relationships.”
The Commission’s survey ignited a series of discussions in the media, on the Internet, and in classrooms about how young people view relationships. At Thursday’s forum, Boston teens will voice their own opinions and help health providers interpret some of the survey results, including why 44 percent of the respondents felt that fighting was a normal part of a relationship. Boston teens will also address some of the rumors that were revealed in the survey and if those rumors informed their opinions; they will also discuss previously unreleased survey results, including how teens responded when asked what advice they would give Rihanna and Chris Brown.
The forum comes as the Commission is poised to release its 2009 Health of Boston report in which 1 out of 11 Boston high school students said they had been physically hurt by a date or someone with whom they were going out with in 2007.
In addition to the teen panel discussion, Casey Corcoran, director of the Commission’s Start Strong Initiative, will offer insights into what the community can do to help educate youth. Corcoran said that like teaching math and reading healthy conflict resolution education should be taught in elementary schools. He also says that education should continue outside of school, including in community centers, enrichment programs, and in the home.
“Although young people look up to adults, they often look to their peers for advice on important decisions,” Corcoran said. “We want to make sure we are arming them with good advice and answers about healthy relationships so they can support their friends.”
For more information about Thursday’s forum, visit the Commission’s Web site at www.bphc.org or call the Start Strong Initiative at 617-534-5674.
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