February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) also known as the National Resource Center for Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. The importance of addressing teen dating violence was highlighted in the 2005, Violence Against Women Act. The following year, Congress declared the first full week of February to be TDVAM and in 2010, they dedicated the complete month to this cause.
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health, more than 1 in 10 teens that have been on a date have also been abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend, while other teens that have kept their silence due to fear are also at risk. We encourage parents to talk to their youth about healthy relationships. This type of support can build trust and security so that teenagers that are experiencing violence in a relationship can speak out and get the help they deserve. Gender equality is an important area in addressing teen dating violence, supporting our teens in areas of identity and empowerment can build self-esteem. Empowering our teens with self-respect and love could be the strengths that will enable them to make better judgments and decisions about friendships and relationships.
If you need help talking to you teens about sex, please see our list of available resources found on our Request Our Help page (see the tabs at the top of this site). We will be updating new tools for parents in April.
The National Clearing House on Youth and Families has an article that talks about 5 ways to prevent teen dating violence, click HERE to read more.
Find Youth Info also has an article about how to stop teen dating violence before it begins. Click here