Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
During February, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month provides an opportunity for prevention and healing for teen victims of violent relationships.
According to the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, approximately 1.5 million high school students in the United States experience physical abuse from a dating partner, and one-quarter of parents don’t talk to their teens about domestic violence.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month encourages parents and adolescents to take a look at their relationships. Abuse can come in many forms and include physical, psychological or sexual abuse.
How to Help
Try to break the cycle. You can make a difference! Do your part by encouraging schools, parents, teens, and community-based organizations to prevent this kind of violence. If you are a parent, talk to your kids about the dangers of teen dating violence. Teach your children that love is respect, and if someone tries to hurt them in any way, how to stand up for themselves and safely exit the situation they’re in. If you are a teacher or feel comfortable mentioning this to a teacher you know, encourage schools to hold classroom discussions talking about how to prevent dating violence. Make sure your children are mature enough to date and prepared to get themselves out of a dangerous situation in case one presents itself.
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
If you or someone you know has been the victim of dating violence, free and confidential help is available 24 hours a day through the National Dating Abuse Helpline. You can call 1-866-331-9474 to be connected with an advocate who is trained to offer education, support and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned friends, siblings, parents, teachers, law enforcement members and service providers.
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