What is Teen Dating Violence?
Dating violence means violence that occurs between intimate partners or two people in a close relationship. The violence can be physical, emotional and/or sexual.
Physical: This includes a partner pinching, hitting, shoving, slapping, punching, or kicking their significant other.
Emotional: This usually involves threatening a partner, or harming her or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name-calling, shaming, embarrassing on purpose, and bullying, to name a few.
Sexual: This can be forcing a partner to engage in any sexual activity that he or she does not provide consent.
In its worst form, dating violence can also include stalking which is a pattern of harassing or threatening tactics that are unwanted and/or cause fear in the victim. If you or someone you know is going through this, please do not hesitate to contact authorities for help.
Unhealthy relationships can start at an early age and last a lifetime. Sadly, some teens think this type of behavior is normal for relationships, however that is not the case. These behaviors can become abusive and develop into even more serious forms of violence.
How Can You Make a Difference?
Use this month as a way to spread awareness about dating violence by encouraging parents to talk to their teens about healthy relationships. Ask teachers to hold classroom discussions about dating violence and how they can help prevent it. At home, parents can be role models as well by treating your kids and your significant other with respect. And lastly, help schools create better policies that support healthy relationships and keep students involved.
Where can you Learn More?Below you can find some resources to help with dating violence. If you or a loved one is going through this, please do not hesitate to get help immediately.
CDC’s Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships:
CDC’s Teen Dating Violence Infographic:
National Dating Abuse Helpline and Love is Respect: www.loveisrespect.org or
1-866-331-9474 or text loveis to 22522
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Sexual Violence Resource Center: www.nsvrc.orgRemember, if you or a loved one is in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1 for help. Your life matters.