February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month!
Each February, activists, community leaders, and organizations come together during National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) in an effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and young adult relationships.Teen dating violence (TDV), while less commonly known than domestic violence, is actually more common than people may think:
- Each year approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner.
- 1 in 3 U.S. teen experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse before they become adults.
- Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
- 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence.
(Sources: http://www.loveisrespect.org/ and https://www.breakthecycle.org/2019-theme)
TDV is defined as a pattern of abuse, or threat of abuse, against teenaged dating partners.This may occur 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, religion, or culture. Although the dynamics of TDV are similar to adult domestic violence, the forms and experience of TDV, as well as the challenges in seeking and providing services, make the problem of TDV unique.
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.One such resource is found on the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s “Love is Respect” website.Here, teens may take a variety of free online quizzes such as “Is My Relationship Healthy?”, “Do Abusive Partners Change?”, and “Am I a Good Partner?”.These quizzes are designed to test teens’ knowledge of healthy relationships. They also serve as a tool for teens to learn more about behaviors which are considered abusive or unhealthy. This website also provides a number of blogs, articles, and resources for teens and parents alike to learn more about the growing problem of TDV, including TDV which may take place through technology, including cell phones, online networking, and social media.For more information visit http://www.loveisrespect.org/.
In addition, “Love is Respect” also launched the new “Huddle Up for Healthy Relationships” campaign in 2019, in which educators, elected leaders, law enforcement officials, parents, students, teachers and anyone with an interest in helping teens stay safe in their relationships are encouraged to join this national awareness campaign. More information on the “Huddle Up” campaign may be found at: https://www.loveisrespect.org/teendvmonth/materials-2019/.
Remember, if you or someone you know are experiencing dating abuse, please talk with a friend, parent, counselor, or contact your local Someplace Safe office.
To find more information and resources on TDV for teens, parents, and service providers alike visit:
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