Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Everyone can help

One in three teens has reported direct or indirect contact with teen dating violence.

As with other forms of violence, exposure to dating violence as a teen can lead to problems well into adulthood.

According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence study, about 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17.

Signs a teen is involved in an abusive relationship may include:

  • Changes in patterns of relationships:  Time spent with friends declines or the teen seems anxious about making plans that don’t include their partner.
  • Mood changes/depression:  Teens in violent relationships may cry more or want to be alone.
  • Making excuses or denying abusive actions, verbal insults, or emotional blackmail (for example, “He was just kidding”).
  • Isolation from family members.

Everyone can play a part in preventing teen dating violence and helping victims heal. Research has shown that children and teens who have a trusted, caring adult in their lives may be better equipped to cope when faced with violence.

Numerous organizations and curriculums have targeted the issue and aim to promote healthy relationships. A Department of Justice study found that school-level interventions in 30 New York City middle schools reduced the instances of teen dating violence by 50 percent.

So let’s all get involved. No idea where to start? Here’s a list of resources for parents and programs.

Stick with us throughout the month as we explore the prevalence of teen dating violence, as well as ways to help and heal.

In the meantime, let us know what you have planned for the month in the comments section below!

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