Feb. 13, 2018, St. Louis, MO—For young people, the teenage years are a time of exploration, navigating the gap between childhood and young adulthood. There are new responsibilities, pressures, and experiences. Romance and dating relationships are a part of this unique phase of life. However, these same relationships can change dramatically with the onset of abuse.
How Common is Teen Dating Violence?
Dating violence does not manifest in a single way or at a certain pace. It might be the constant hurling of insults, pressuring someone into having sex, or texting with constant inquiries of where you are and what you’re doing. Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse or threats of abuse against teen-aged dating partners, occurring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and digital. One in three teens in the US will experience abuse in some form at the hands of a relationship partner before they become adults. While approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner, 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their child about domestic violence.
How Can I Help?
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVM/TDVAM) is a national effort carried out by activists, community leaders, and national and local organizations to raise awareness about dating abuse during February. The campaign also strives to promote programs that encourage communities to prevent this form of abuse with the ultimate goal of decreasing the prevalence of dating abuse among young people.
Everyone has the right to a healthy and safe relationship free of abuse and everyone has a hand in ending dating violence. Here are some ways you can help!
Participate in Respect Week
During the week of February 12, talk to your family, co-workers, and peers about the issue and post to social media with the hashtags #Orange4Love, #HandsUnite, and #RespectWeek2018.
Join Our Prevention Program
Safe Connections offers relationship violence prevention programs to St. Louis-area schools through Project HART. For more information or to schedule Project HART for your school or organization, Phoenix Lintner at 314.646.7500 x146
By Jae Williams. Jae is a pre-med undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis studying Public Health.Back to All News