National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2017

The teenage years are when many people begin to date and have romantic relationships. It is a new experience that teens are exploring and learning more about. Parents may view their children’s relationships as cute and innocent and look back to their own teenage dating years or maybe cringe at the thought of their own children dating! Whatever the case, most teens do not share every detail of their relationships with their parents. How much knowledge do teens even have about relationships?  Do they know what a healthy and respectful relationship is or looks like? Many teens do not understand what is acceptable in a relationship and what is not. Last year, 1 in 10 teens reported that they were purposely hit or physically hurt by their partner. Dating violence doesn’t stop at being physical. It can be emotional and sexual violence, too. Violent actions in relationships have  been linked as causes of negative effects for the victims;  including  depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use, decreased school performance, and a higher risk to become a victim of violence in college and adult relationships. Teen dating violence is very serious and needs to stop. That is why February has been declared National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The goal is to reach out to teens and parents and provide resources to prevent and stop teen dating violence. The best way to promote healthy and respectful relationships is to educate!

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers great resources and tips in tackling teen dating violence. Ideally we want to avoid violence all together, but whether it is occurring or not, it is never too late to take steps to stop. Discussing with teens about what is acceptable and unacceptable in relationships is very important. This step is extremely beneficial when it is discussed before a relationship begins as the teens have this knowledge in their minds and know when a red flag appears. Other resources could include school-based programs or online seminars. To learn more about teen dating violence, take a look at the following resources:






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