February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (Teen DV Month). At The Hotline, we know that education goes a long way toward prevention, and having conversations with young people about healthy vs. unhealthy dating behaviors can help stop abuse before it starts.
- One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Eighty one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
Loveisrespect, our project for teens and young adults, has some great activities lined up for Teen DV Month:
- The National Youth Advisory Board is hosting Respect Week Feb. 9-13. Teens can download the Respect Week 2015 toolkit for ideas and activities for raising awareness in their schools and communities
- Wear Orange 4 Love. Encourage friends and family to wear something orange on Tuesday, Feb. 10 – hats, shirts, pants, nail polish, accessories, anything orange will do! Let people know you’re wearing orange to show your support for healthy relationships.
- Join the Twitter Town Hall, hosted by loveisrespect, on Feb. 12 at 6 PM Central. They’ll be having a conversation about relationship rights. Follow along and participate using the hashtag #RespectWeek2015.
- Support loveisrespect’s Thunderclap and help spread the National Respect Announcement on Friday, Feb. 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
- Encourage teens to take the Dating Pledge. The pledge serves as a reminder for teens and a commitment to any current and future partner that they believe love is respect!
- Participate in #LIRasks on social media. Each Monday in February loveisrespect will ask a question related to that week’s theme on the loveisrespect blog and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Everyone is invited to post responses on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the #LIRasks hashtag. At the end of each week loveisrespect will compile the top responses and share on their blog. Check out the weekly themes:
Week 1: Starting the Conversation About Dating Abuse & Healthy Relationships
Week 2: Know Your Relationship Rights
Week 3: Helping Someone in an Unhealthy or Abusive Relationship
Week 4: Relationships in the Media
Need information or resources on helping the teens in your life? The Hotline has you covered:
- Understand what makes teen dating abuse unique.
- Know the warning signs that your teen may be in an abusive relationship.
- If your child is in an abusive relationship, here’s how to help.
- Texting and social media are constants in teens’ lives. Talk to them about digital safety and the dangers of sharing passwords.
- Have conversations with teens about consent: what it is and what it isn’t.
- Teach teens about healthy relationships and what they look like.
- Check out some dating abuse resources for teens.
We frequently offer support, information and resources to friends and family members of young people affected by dating violence. You can always contact The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or loveisrespect at 1-866-331-9474 any time if you have questions or concerns.