Most people recognize February as a month that celebrates love, through one of the most romantic days of the year: Valentines Day.
But, did you know, (ironically) that February also focuses on “dysfunctional relationships” through Teen Dating Violence Month?
Since 2010, Teen Dating Violence advocates and partnering organizations have dedicated this time to increase social awareness of teen violence through resources, literature, and educational workshops and programs.
All in an effort to educate today’s youth and end the cycle of abuse.
According to statistics provided by TeenDatingViolence.org, here are some important things you should know:
- Approximately 72% of 8th and 9th graders are dating.
- Violent behavior, most times, starts between ages 12 and 18.
- Over 1 million high school students nationwide suffer physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- 16% of college women have been sexually abused in a dating relationship.
- 58% of college students report that they don’t know how to help someone who has been victimized by abuse.
These alarming statistics further support the need for awareness in promoting healthy relationships, and establishes why Teen Dating Violence is essentially “everybody‘s problem“.
Abuse exists in many forms.
Abuse can be:
Mental---Assaults on self-esteem and character, belittling, harsh criticism, stalking
Digital---Monitoring activity on social media sites, cyber-bullying, password breaches, posting negative comments on FaceBook
Along with TeenDatingviolence.org, another organization dedicated to abuse awareness, is Love is Respect.org. This group provides supportive services through a national helpline, (accessible 24/7), as well as informative literature and workshops.
In honor of Teen Dating Violence Month, Love is Respect.org is asking supporters to wear Orange on February 11th as a way to show solidarity, and to promote healthy partnerships, respect and dating safety.
For information, visit their site at Loveisrespect.org, or call 1-866-331-9474.
To learn more about teen dating violence visit the IMGF website.
…Because “what you don’t know, CAN hurt you.”