February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

teendvmonth-2016Being a teen isn’t an easy experience, and navigating relationships as a teen definitely isn’t an easy experience. As they’re grappling with constant messages from ever-evolving technology, figuring out what’s healthy and not healthy can be overwhelming for young people. We think it’s important to provide them with guidance and resources that help them make healthy choices and build safe, respectful relationships.

With one in three teens experiencing some form of abuse from a dating partner, now is the time to have conversations about dating violence with the teens in your life. Even if you don’t see the warning signs, learning how to create healthy relationships and avoid abusive ones are skills that will last a lifetime. And if your teen is experiencing abuse, it’s important to know how to help.

During February, follow loveisrespect, our project with Break the Cycle, for information about how to get involved during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (Teen DV Month). There are plenty of ways to participate and help spread the word about teen dating violence:

  • Feb. 4Love = Setting Boundaries Twitter chat at 2 p.m. CST/3 p.m. EST. Follow the hashtag #teendvchat to participate.
  • Feb. 8-12 – Respect Week, hosted by the National Youth Advisory Board. Download the Respect Week Guide for activity ideas, and share what you’re doing on social media using the hashtag #RespectWeek2016.
  • Feb. 9 – Wear Orange4Love! Get your friends and family to wear orange and show support for healthy relationships. Join loveisrespect’s Facebook event, and post pictures with the hashtag #orange4love.
  • Feb. 12 – Read the National Respect Announcement at your school or to your organization. Join the Thunderclap to help spread the message about healthy relationships on social media!
  • Feb. 18Looking Deeper at Boundaries Twitter chat at 6 p.m. CST/7 p.m. EST. Follow the hashtag #teendvchat to participate.
  • Feb. 25 – Join loveisrespect and Break the Cycle for a webinar, “The New Normal,” which will explore current dating trends and cultural and social norms from a young person’s perspective. Register here.

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Hotline!

valentines-dayValentine’s Day is about expressing love and appreciation for the important people in your life – whether it’s your spouse, romantic partner, or a special friend. Here at the hotline, we strongly believe in the work we do with people who are hurting because of unhealthy and/or abusive relationships, but we want to celebrate healthy relationships, too.

This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to reflect on the people you love and how you can contribute to keeping your relationships healthy. Here are a few things to consider:

Love yourself. Sometimes this is the hardest part of a relationship – loving and accepting yourself for who you are. It’s just as important to take care of yourself emotionally, mentally and physically as it is to care for your partner. Don’t forget to make yourself a priority so that you can be your best self for your loved ones.

Communicate. Talk to your partner about your feelings and needs, and give them space to talk about theirs. Listen to what they are really saying; are they upset because you didn’t notice they did the laundry, or because you left your dirty dishes in the sink? Maybe they’re really trying to tell you that they don’t feel appreciated. Make the effort to talk and listen to your partner every day.

Trust. This is a key part of every relationship. Trust your partner fully, and always be each other’s biggest champion. If you don’t trust your partner and vice versa, there could be potential to slide into an unhealthy relationship. Talk through any trust issues and explore ways to be faithful, reliable, and secure with your partner.

Today, please join with the team at, a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, to promote healthy relationships with the National Respect Announcement. Post this announcement to your social media accounts and let the world know that everyone deserves healthy relationships!

This Valentine’s Day, we’d like to remind you that everyone deserves a safe and healthy relationship. If you or someone you know has a question about a relationship, healthy or unhealthy, visit or text “loveis” to 22522.

Remember, love has many definitions, but abuse isn’t one of them.

You can also call the hotline anytime, day or night, at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat online with us Monday through Friday, 9am-7pm CST. Our advocates are here for you.

We wish you a safe and happy Valentine’s Day!