February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! This effort raises awareness about domestic abuse and prevention in relationships between young adults across the country.
What is Teen Dating Violence (TDV)?
Teen dating violence, or TDV, comes in many forms. Technically, it is defined as physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Although TDV can occur in person with a current partner, it can also happen online or with a previous partner.
Some Facts about TDV:
- Among high school students, 21% of females and 10% of males have experienced TDV
- In 2003, it was estimated that nearly 1.5 million high school students across the country experienced TDV
- Anyone of any gender can be the victim or the abuser in a relationship
How to recognize abuse?
Dating abuse happens when one partners uses power and control over the other person in the relationship. This Power and Control and Wheel helps lay out the different kinds of abuse. It is always important to remember that violence in a relationship is not normal, and to trust your gut if something feels wrong. Here is quiz you can take to help identify if you or someone close to you is in an abusive relationship.
What are the consequences of abuse?
There are serious long term and short term consequences of TDV. These include an increased chance for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Learning how to manage complicated emotions like anger and communicating with your partner are important aspects of a healthy relationship.
What should I do if I think I’m in an unhealthy relationship?
It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge that you are in an abusive relationship. Remember that you are not alone and there are plenty of resources out there to help you out. Below is a list of some of these resources that can help you make a plan.
National Dating Abuse Helpline: This 24-hour hotline helps teens experiencing dating abuse anywhere in the country. Text “loveis” to 22522 or call 1-866-331-9474 toll free.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Break the Cycle: Provides outreach and education on teen domestic violence
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Provides more information on events and stratigies to prevent teen domestic violence
Teensource: Learn more about the differences between a health and an unhealthy relationship
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.