February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month!
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort carried on by activists, community leaders, and organizations to raise awareness about dating abuse, promote programs that support young people, and encourage communities to decrease and prevent dating abuse among young people.
Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse, or threat of abuse, against teenaged dating partners. This may occur in in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital abuse. TDV occurs across diverse groups, affecting teens regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, ethnicity, religions, or culture. Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. Despite this, it is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence.
There are many resources available to youth to provide information and support to victims of TDV, as well as assist service providers, parents, and communities. With the growing popularity of technology and cell phone apps, one such resource is the “Love is Not Abuse” app. This educational resource for parents demonstrates the dangers of digital dating abuse and provides much needed information on the growing problem of TDV. Dating abuse does not always leave scratches and bruises, so parents need to also be aware of subtle signs that their teen may be under attack through technology, including cell phones, online networking, and social media. This app provides a rare insight for parents of what it feels like for a teen to be a victim of digital dating abuse.
The “Circle of 6” app is an app for college-aged students and their friends to stay close, stay safe, and prevent violence before it happens. The design is simple. It takes two touches to get help and it uses icons to represent actions, so that no one can tell what a user up to if someone sees their phone. The design ensures safety, speed, and privacy.
The “myPlan” app was created to allow users to assess the relationship situation that they are in, judge the level of healthiness of intimate relationships, and help create a safety plan if it is unsafe. This anonymous app is protected by a pin number. The “Danger Assessment” allows users to assess whether the relationship is at risk, while other planning tools and resource guides help users learn more about abusive relationships.
Nobody deserves to be mistreated or abused in their relationships. If you are experiencing dating abuse, please talk with a friend, parent, counselor, or contact your local Someplace Safe office. A listing of Someplace Safe locations and contact information may be found at: www.someplacesafe.info. To find more information and resources on TDV, visit:
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