Am I really at risk for dating violence?
Hey there! I’m Katie, an intern at Safe Connections. I was assigned a story on teen dating violence, and was shocked when I started looking up the facts. I’m 22 and I didn’t realize just how many people my age were in unhealthy relationships. Young women ages 16-24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence–almost triple the national average. Yikes.
When I read that, I could only think of all my friends who are dating, especially through the web sites where so much is shared with a perfect stranger. I want to share the information I have learned about teen dating violence with everyone, especially my friends in relationships.
More than Valentine’s Day..
Did you know February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month? I never did. I was too focused on February 14th, that special day when we all celebrate love by treating our partners to candlelit dinners, chocolate, and roses. (Or sit at home watching rom-coms and eating chocolate!) Let’s face it, we love to show off our gifts and romantic dates by posting to social media. It’s easy to forget that not every couple who uploads a cute photo to Facebook has a healthy relationship.
So, what can you do?
Is Valentine’s Day the only day you and your partner celebrate your relationship? Did your partner criticize the romantic gift you got them? Is your partner pressuring you to have sex to prove you love them? Are any of your friends dating abusive partners? Loveisrespect has provided a few quizzes to help you figure out how healthy your relationship is and how it could be better.
- Is my relationship healthy?
- Am I a good partner?
- Can abusers change?
- How would you help?
- This quiz is so important! Have you ever seen an abusive relationship and not spoken out? I did; I felt as though it was none of my business. I thought my friends and I just had different values. Violence has almost become the norm. Don’t let this happen, please speak out if you think a friend is the victim of dating violence. Both of you will be glad you did!
Parents, your teens need you!
If you are worried your teen may be in an unhealthy relationship, take the time to talk to them about healthy relationships so that they can assess their own.
For tips on how to start the conversation, or facts about teen dating violence check out these links:
- A conversation guide on how to talk to your children about teen violence
- Love is Not Abuse iPhone app
- A guide to teen dating violence. Get the facts here.
- Prevention Education
- The Safe Connections programs that teach local teens and young adults about respectful, healthy relationships.