In our nation today, teen dating violence is more common than people suspect. According to the Love is Respect Teen Hotline, “One in three teens in the US will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before they become adults, and nearly half (43%) of college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behaviors.” Because this issue so heavily affects youth within the United States, former president Barack Obama released a proclamation stating that February would be named Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM).
As an agency that works with and supports teens throughout their healing journeys after an assault, this month is very important to our organization. Teens experiences some of the highest rates of sexual assault/violence in the nation, and along with their victimization, the aftermath of teen dating violence often affects the families, friends, and communities of that survivor as well. As an organization, we strive to educate and raise awareness about this topic in order to familiarize others with the warning signs of such a traumatic event.
Often, people assume that once an unhealthy relationship is brought to light and the effects of dating violence have been addressed, the hurt stops. But many times, adolescents carry the toxic patterns of that relationship throughout the rest of their lives and into future relationships. Youth who are victimized at an early age frequently bring that trauma with them into adulthood and can become victimized again or become perpetrators of adult partner violence. So, as a community partnering with agencies around the nation, we aim to break the cycle of teen dating violence and continuously provide services and support to victims and their families.
Post by Kylie McGuire
Sources & Resources:
Love is Respect
Presidential Proclamation — National Teen Dating Violence Awareness And Prevention Month, 2016