Talking About and Preventing Date Rape

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Talking About and Preventing Date Rape

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One of the things you hear parents talk about and question about, in their more vulnerable moments, is about date rape; how often it happens and under what circumstances. I don't want to be naive and stick our head in the sand. It does happen. As parents, part of our job is to prepare our kids for part of the tough conversations, and this is one of them. I think this is part of the drug and alcohol conversation; because almost anytime there is date rape, there is drugs and alcohol involved. If you think about what happens with kids. They take the drugs and alcohol. They lose their inhibitions. They try things they wouldn't normally do, and they lose access to the part of them that really knows what's right. In a date rape situation, what happens is, everything is fine; and then a line gets crossed. It's a blurry line. A girl in this situation doesn't realize it's been crossed. All of a sudden, she is in a place that she feels very uncomfortable. Many kids, when they get there, they actually feel guilty that they led somebody on and they are not sure what to do in this situation. This is one of the reasons why I really recommend that all boys and girls take some sort of self-defense course. Just a weekend workshop, where it ends and culminates with them using their voice that says something like, "Stop! I said, stop. No, means no. You need to stop. Someone, I need help. Someone come help me." Those kinds of things. They hear it. They feel the power of it and they are encouraged. When you know the line has been crossed -- even if it was crossed back here, but you don't realize it to here -- That's the time to use it. Then, as a family, we need to make sure that we've talked to one another. We've created a family where we can talk about the difficult subjects. People can come to one another, because that's when families come together in important ways.

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Michael Riera, PhD

Head Of School, Brentwood School

Michael Riera, PhD, Educator, Author, Media Personality, and Speaker. Michael Riera is the Head of School at the Brentwood School, best-selling author, award-winning columnist, educator, television commentator, and national speaker on issues of children, adolescents, families, and parenting. Mike is the author of Right From Wrong: instilling a Sense of integrity in Our Children, Field Guide to the American Teenager, Uncommon Sense For Parents With Teenagers, and Surviving High School. His most recent book, Staying Connected To Your Teenager, was launched with three appearances on Oprah! For eight years he was the Family Consultant for CBS The Saturday Morning Early Show and also hosted an award winning television show on the Oxygen Network, Life in Progress, as well as his own daily radio show, Family Talk with Dr. Mike. Mike has worked in schools for over 20 years as a head of school, counselor, dean of students, teacher and consultant. 

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