Did you know that "approximately 9% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months before surveyed"? (source)
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and we want to help get the word out, inform parents and help put an end to this harmful cycle.
All relationships are different, but the common denominator to most abusive dating relationships is that the violence escalates over time. It tends to become more and more dangerous for the young victim. According to the CDC, "victims of teen dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, and report binge drinking, suicide attempts, and physical fighting. Victims may also carry the patterns of violence into future relationships". (source)
It is very easy for parents to assume that their child would never do something like this nor would they be with someone who would. Unfortunately, this is simply not always true. Communication is key. It's very important for parents to discuss healthy relationship patterns with their children and teens and what dating violence can look like.
Dating Violence can take on several forms:
You can also help your teen understand what signs to look for if they are in a relationship:
Be in the know! Protect your kids! Help your kids protect themselves!
February is Teen Dating Violence (DV) Awareness Month! Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it during the month of February.
Dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!
Who is at risk for dating violence?
The ultimate goal is to stop dating violence before it starts. Strategies that promote healthy relationships are vital. During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships with others. This is an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood. Many prevention strategies are proven to prevent or reduce dating violence. Some effective school-based programs change norms, improve problem-solving, and address dating violence in addition to other youth risk behaviors, such as substance use and sexual risk behaviors.
Other programs prevent dating violence through changes to the school environment or training influential adults, like parents/caregivers and coaches, to work with youth to prevent dating violence. (source)
For more information about teen dating violence, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 219-254-2678
I joined the STARS program my junior year of high school, which was also the pilot year. Going into the program, I had no idea what to expect, or what it meant to be a mentor to someone. Despite my oblivion, the great energy and excitement the coordinators brought with each meeting incentivized me to stay. After the first few meetings, about three things were clear. One, that STARS was an organization of Students Teaching About Relationships and Success, high schoolers mentoring eighth graders. Two, simply showing an eighth grader that a high schooler in interested in helping improve their lives or being a listening ear is powerful in itself. And lastly, it was clear that this is a program I’d want to be a part of for as long as I could, which is why I joined again this school year.
Each week, we mentors meet to discuss the designated mentor session, then meet again with the eighth grade class to engage in the session’s activities. Before we enter the room, we always make sure to be mindful in emanating positive energy, and to greet the mentees with a smile and enthusiasm. We all remember the pains of being an eighth grader. The acne, the bad hair, the braces, being too tall or too shy to fit in, and not knowing who you are, stuck in the awkward phase of transitioning into a mature high school. We often remind them that we’ve all played that game before, and we’re there to give them all the rules.
Over the summer of 2015, I and the other mentors traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the STARS National Conference. There, we met many other teen mentors from other states. Though complete strangers, we all became quickly acquainted with one another, building relationships and sharing our experiences with mentoring. We attended inspiring workshops, amusement parks, and other events that brought us all even closer than we were before. The conference maintained high energy, and there was never a dull moment seeing teens from all over all come together with one thing in common, which is the love of being a mentor.
Guest blogger, Breonna Walker, 2nd year mentor with PATH's STARS Mentoring program
A Positive Approach to Teen Health (P.A.T.H) is a 501(c)3 organization that reaches seven counties throughout Northwest Indiana. Since 1993, A Positive Approach to Teen Health has been working to empower teens to make healthy choices regarding drugs, sex, alcohol, and violence.