Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. According to the CDC, 1 in 11 female and 1 in 15 male high school students reported experiencing physical dating violence in the last year. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships among teens can have short and long term negative effects. Youth victims of teen dating violence are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, engage in unhealthy behaviors (using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs), and engage in antisocial behaviors (theft, bullying, lying).
What is teen dating violence?
Teen dating violence happens between two young people in a close relationship. Dating violence can happen in person or electronically. There are four types of behavior that may happen in a dating situation that is violent:
- Physical violence – hurting a person by hitting, kicking, or using force
- Sexual violence – forcing or trying to force a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent
- Psychological aggression – using verbal or nonverbal communication with the intent to hurt a person mentally or emotionally
- Stalking – a pattern of repeated unwanted attention or contact that causes fear of the victim’s safety or those around the victim
During Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, take these steps to make a difference:
- Be a role model – treat those around you with respect
- Talk about the elements of healthy relationships with others
- Be an engaged bystander, learn strategies to speak up and challenge the social norms that may lead to violence\
Check out this Health Relationship Public Service Announcement (PSA)
What resources are available?
Visit https://www.wernative.org/articles/tips-to-be-an-engaged-bystander for tips on how to be an engaged bystander. See https://www.wernative.org/my-relationships/relationships-dating/abuse-violence to learn more about abuse and violence in relationships.
The Forest County Potawatomi Community Advocate Program provides a free and confidential crisis phone line at (715) 478-7201 and is able to provide services to FCP enrolled members who have experienced past or present domestic abuse or sexual assault.
Preventing Teen Dating Violence |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teendatingviolence/fastfact.html. Published March 12, 2019. Accessed January 21, 2020.