February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
As part of our domestic violence prevention activities, S.H.A.R.E., Inc. provides Teen Dating Violence Prevention presentations for middle- and high school students, educators, and parents. Our presentations or classes are tailored to the school and student needs, for example, we offer several sessions using the evidence-based curriculum Safe Dates, a one-hour presentation before student body assemblies, and Healthy Relationships films and questionnaires for college students. We also provide short educational presentations for community groups.
Call us at 867-4444 to arrange presentations.
What is Teen Dating Violence?
Teen dating violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over his partner.
Any teen or young adult can experience violence, abuse or unhealthy behaviors in their dating relationships, which may be serious or casual, monogamous or not, short-term or long-term.
Teens and young adults experience the same types of abuse in relationships as adults. This can include:
– Intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, kicking, strangling, or using a weapon.
– Threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, or stalking.
– Use of cell phones or social media to intimidate, harass or threaten a current or ex-dating partner, which might include demanding passwords, checking cell phones, cyber bullying, threatening or excessive texting, sexting, or stalking online.
Some facts about Teen Dating Violence
– Dating violence happens to young people in teen dating relationships as often as it does in adult relationships.
– 12.2% of high school girls between 14 and 18 years old reported that they had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a dating partner.
– 40% of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
– About 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their dating relationships continue to date their abuser after violence has begun.
– Nearly all female rape victims know their attacker. 56% of teenage girls who are raped are raped by a date.
Talking to teens about healthy relationships
We encourage parents and educators to talk to teens about healthy relationships based on equality and respect, and to discuss what is not healthy or loving in a relationship. Relationships that are not healthy are based on power and control. Possessiveness, insults, jealous accusations, yelling, humiliation, and other abusive behaviors are attempts to have power and control.
Call us for help or more information
S.H.A.R.E., Inc. provides safety plans as well as emergency crisis intervention for persons who are in an abusive relationship. We can also provide more information on how to talk about Teen Dating Violence with a friend, loved one, or child.