February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

S.H.A.R.E., Inc. and Help for Abused Partners provide Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Healthy Relationships education for elementary, middle, high school and college students in Northeastern Colorado.

Teen Dating Violence is a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive teen uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior in order to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.

Teens are at high risk as they are beginning to explore dating and intimacy.

Another reason to focus on teens is because the severity of intimate partner violence in adults is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

  • Statistics have shown that teens age 13 to 18 are the least likely group to disclose warning signs or abuse to a friend, family member or trusted adult or to report to the police.
  • More than 1 in 10 teenagers experience physical violence in their dating relationships.
  • 1 in 4 teens report experiencing some type of abuse (physical, verbal, emotional mental, or sexual abuse.)
  • 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by his or her partner through violent actions which included hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, and/or choking.
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been victims of physical abuse in their dating relationships continue to date the abuser.
  • Nearly 20% of teen girls who have been in a relationship said that their boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm in the event of a break-up.
  • Nearly 70% of young women who have been raped knew their rapist; the perpetrator was or had been a boyfriend, friend, or casual acquaintance.
  • The majority of teen dating abuse occurs in the home of one of the partners.

Call S.H.A.R.E., Inc. at (970) 867-4444 for presentations in Kit Carson, Morgan, Washington and Yuma Counties, and Help for Abused Partners at (970) 522-2307 for Logan, Phillips and Sedgwick Counties.