Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Dating violence is defined by the National Center for Victims of Crime as controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship.
It can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Teen dating violence runs across race, gender, and socio-economic lines. Anyone can be a victim of dating violence.
One in three teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, or physically hurt by his/her dating partner. Both males and females are victims, but boys and girls are abusive in different ways. Girls are more likely to yell, threaten to hurt themselves, pinch, slap, scratch, or kick. Boys injure girls more severely and frequently.
Some teen victims experience violence occasionally, others more often, even daily. Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications for victims: many will continue to be abused in their adult relationships and are at a higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and suicide.
If you know someone who might be in an abusive relationship, you can help. Show your friend you care and are worried. Listen and offer support. Educate yourself about dating violence. Ask how you can help and encourage your friend to seek help. Avoid confrontations with the abuser as it can be dangerous for you and your friend.
If you are a victim of dating violence, get help! Being a victim of dating violence is not your fault. Talk to someone you trust like a parent, teacher, school principal, counselor, nurse, trusted family member, friend’s parent, adult neighbor, or an older sibling. You can also call a crisis line in your area. Dial 211 from any phone, cellular, or land line for free, confidential information and referral services offered 24/7. In an emergency call 911 or the local police.
Take precaution by going out in groups or with another couple. Tell friends and family where you are and when you’ll be home. Keep a cell phone with you. Have money available for transportation in case you need to call a cab or catch a bus.
Join the FLVS School Counselors as we observe National Teen Dating Abuse, Awareness and Safety month with a webinar on Teen Dating Violence: Information & Prevention. We will discuss what dating violence is, warning signs, and ways to have healthy and positive teen relationships. This session may discuss sensitive topics that are not suitable for every student. Log in to www.tinyurl.com/FLVSCounselors on February 26, 2014, at 6 p.m. ET.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, http://www.teendvmonth.org (Image credit)
“Teen Victim Project,” National Center for Victims of Crime, http://www.ncvc.org
Liz Claiborne Inc., Conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, (February 2005).
Jay G. Silverman PhD, et Al, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality.” Journal of the American Medical Association, (2001)