Tracy Darling-DeMarcus Prevention Program Manager
February is recognized nationally as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). Unfortunately, abuse in relationships among teens is all too common. Each year, millions of teens experience violence by dating partners. And according to LoveIsRespect.org (the leading national resource for teens experiencing dating violence), 82% of parents thought they could recognize teen dating violence but less than half could actually identify the warning signs.
Preventing violence can start at home by talking openly and honestly about relationships with the young people in your life. Whether you are a parent, aunt, uncle or friend of someone with children, you have the power to share information, model positive behaviors and support youth who may have experienced an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
Here are a few things you can do during TDVAM:
- Educate yourself on healthy relationships, red flags, recognizing relationship abuse and how to support a child experiencing dating violence. This site is a great place to start!
- Start a conversation with your child or young person you care about. If they aren’t dating or their relationship is healthy, it can still be helpful for them to know that you are a safe person to talk with about all of their relationships, romantic or not. If you are concerned for their safety or suspect dating abuse, this guide may be helpful for starting that conversation.
- Encourage them to learn more about relationships! Young people are exploring and discovering new things about relationships every day. Share resources and tools with them, like this quiz to determine if their relationship is healthy!
Remember, we are all worthy of safe, healthy relationships!