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Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention

Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM). One in 10 teens report they have been physically abused by a girlfriend or boyfriend, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, one-in-four teens report to have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

These forms of violence are serious because they tend to introduce a negative pattern of behaviors in relationships at a very young age. These behaviors carry over into adult relationships, if they are not properly addressed and treated. 

Identify the Warning Signs:

  • Extreme jealousy;
  • Angry outburst/temper tantrums;
  • Monitoring cell phones, social media, friends, classes and extra-curricular activities;
  • Name calling and public humiliation, including cyber bullying;
  • Unwanted sexual pressuring or behaviors;
  • Hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, grabbing, kicking, pulling and/or shoving;
  • Purposefully breaking objects and being intimidating;
  • Isolating from friends and family;
  • Preventing a person from making their own decisions;
  • Causing trouble when teen is traveling between school and home and classes.
  • More examples and explanations.
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The good news is that awareness, education and prevention work!

Teens are very receptive to learning how to manage dating relationships in a healthy manner and learn well from mentors and peers. They tend not to repeat decisions or behaviors that have led to abuse once they have learned non-violent ways of dealing with difficult situations in relationships. Because prevention curriculums have such a positive outcome, middle and high schools are incorporating relationship skills building into physical education, health and family life classes.

How to Stop Teen Dating Violence:

  • Tell a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, nurse or trusted adult;
  • Support friends in going to the school counselors to get help;
  • Text “LoveIs” to 22522 or visit the website at www.loveisrespect.org;
  • Call the National Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474;
  • Call your local Fleet and Family Service Center (FFSC) for individual counseling;
  • Tell the abusive teen it is not healthy, and you are concerned for him/her;
  • Ask a counselor to help you make a safety plan in case you feel threatened.
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As a Parent or Invested Adult:

  • Try not to be judgmental because anyone can be a victim, and abusive teens are having trouble expressing emotions and dealing with stress and fear;
  • Model healthy relationship behaviors and conflict resolution in your relationships;
  • Get professional help for your child;
  • Address safety concerns at home, in school, at extra-curricular activities and times in-between;
  • Get support from your child’s teaching staff to supervise between and during classes.

Effects of Teen Dating Violence for both victims and abusive teens:

  • Depression: loss of interest, loss of self-esteem, shame and avoidance;
  • Immediate safety/death;
  • Injuries: lacerations, bruising, strangulation and pain;
  • Self-injuring behaviors as a coping mechanism;
  • Increased suicidal thoughts and attempts;
  • Decreased academic standing or poor grades;
  • Increased truancy, high school drop-out and later difficulty in acquiring employment;
  • Loss of independence;
  • Difficulty controlling emotions especially frustration, anger, fear and sadness;
  • Loss of friendships and interaction in after school activities;
  • Increased chance of teen pregnancy;
  • Increased chance of public humiliation and psychological repercussions;
  • Increased risk of long term health issues such as high blood pressure, illness, headaches etc.;
  • Fear.

For More Information:

 

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