February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM).
The 2024 TDVAM theme is “Love Like That.” Selected by the Love is Respect Youth Council “Love Like That” illuminates what “that” means regarding healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships. We know that love is more than a feeling; no matter how you define it, it’s essential to ensure you’re on the same page with your partner about the definitions and boundaries of your relationship. Teens and young adults express their love for one another in many ways, which differ from person to person or community. All expressions of love are valid. However, the essential aspect of “Love Like That” calls on us all to create a world of positive actions to express and show healthy love in various ways. Checkout the 2024 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Action Guide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence (TDV) — also called, “dating violence” — is an adverse childhood experience that affects millions of young people in the U.S.
Teen dating violence can take place in person, online, or through technology. It is a type of intimate partner violence (IPV) that includes four forms of violence that can occur within the dating relationships of adolescents and young adults:
When any form of dating violence is perpetrated using technology, such as messaging and social media, it is referred to as cyber dating violence or digital dating abuse. Examples include sending sexual pictures of a dating partner to others without consent, sending or posting insulting or threatening messages, and sharing negative rumors about the person.
“Join together with a clear message to survivors: You are not alone. Support is close by, and justice is within reach.” —President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Supporting the development of healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships has the potential to reduce the occurrence of teen dating violence and prevent its harmful and long-lasting effects on individuals, their families, and the communities where they live. During the pre-teen and teen years, it is critical for youth to begin learning the skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships. These skills include knowing how to manage feelings and how to communicate in a healthy way.
CDC developed Dating Matters®: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships to stop teen dating violence before it starts. It focuses on 11-14-year-olds and includes multiple prevention components for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. All of the components work together to reinforce healthy relationship messages and reduce behaviors that increase the risk of dating violence.
All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive, with unhealthy somewhere in the middle. Learn more >>
1. Long-term effects: Teens suffering from dating abuse often end up being victims of long-term problems like alcoholism, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, violent bouts, and so on.
2. Widely affected: In the U.S., about 33% of male and female adolescents are victims of sexual, physical, or emotional dating abuse.
3. S.T.D. scares: Teen girls subject to abuse are six times more likely to become pregnant or contract an S.T.D. or S.T.I.
4. Suicidal scares: A shocking 50% of young adults who experience physical or sexual abuse (including rape) attempt to commit suicide.
5. Can’t confide: Only a third of teens in an abusive relationship could confide in someone about the abuse, and hesitate to seek help since they don’t want to expose themselves.
Source: National Today (nationaltoday.com)
ATEND AN EVENT
Instagram LIVE: Love Like This, Love Like That
Thursday, February 29
Hosted via Instagram by @loveisrespect
Join #loveisrespect for an Instagram LIVE event with the incredible Love is Respect Youth Council! We’ll be diving into the topic of Independence in Relationships to close out TDVAM 2024. Don’t miss this empowering conversation >>
Following Their Lead: A Teen Dating Violence Action Month Panel
Thursday, February 22
Hosted via Zoom
2:00pm – 3:30pm (PT)
Join us for a FREE webinar highlighting the important work that young people are doing across the state to end dating violence, uplift marginalized voices, and shift culture. Teen dating violence prevention starts with youth power! Young people, especially people of color, queer and trans folks, and folks from economically struggling communities know how to lead the way forward and know what their communities need. Youth-led violence prevention forges a path toward liberation for all of us and one of the best things we can do is to follow their lead. Register today >>
LISTEN TO A PODCAST
ACCESS RESOURCES & FIND SUPPORT
Use these resources to help you define and maintain a healthy, loving relationship:
Find support through these organizations and their resources: