FEBRUARY IS TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH!
Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February advocates join efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.
There are many resources available to provide information and support to victims and assist service providers and communities to decrease the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Anyone can make this happen by raising awareness about the issue, saying something about abuse when you see it and organizing your community to make a difference. Take Action!
Learn About Teen Dating Violence
Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenaged dating partners, occuring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital. TDV occurs across diverse groups and cultures.
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.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and VAWnet have developed an Online Special Collection: Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence. Recently updated, this Special Collection emphasizes collaborative and multilevel approaches to the prevention of and response to teen dating violence. This year’s updates include additional resources for teachers and school-based professionals and a new section to support the efforts of pregnancy prevention advocates and adolescent sexual health practitioners in addressing adolescent relationship abuse.
For the past ten years, Break the Cycle and the Love Is Not Abuse Campaign have been hosting It’s Time To Talk Day. This awareness campaign aims to generate conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. This year, the NO MORE campaign developed a toolkit titled “How to Start a Conversation: Talking About Dating and Healthy Relationships Step-by-Step”.
Because starting a conversation with teens can be daunting, the toolkit provides parents with an easy to follow guide complete with sample open-ended questions to start a conversation about teen dating violence.