Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February advocates join efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.
There are many resources available to provide information and support to victims and assist service providers and communities to decrease the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Anyone can make this happen by raising awareness about the issue, saying something about abuse when you see it and organizing your community to make a difference. Take Action!
Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenaged dating partners, occuring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital. TDV occurs across diverse groups and cultures.
Although the dynamics of TDV are similar to adult domestic violence, the forms and experience of TDV, as well as the challenges in seeking and providing services, make the problem of TDV unique.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and VAWnet have developed an Online Special Collection: Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence. Recently updated, this Special Collection emphasizes collaborative and multilevel approaches to the prevention of and response to teen dating violence. This year's updates include additional resources for teachers and school-based professionals and a new section to support the efforts of pregnancy prevention advocates and adolescent sexual health practitioners in addressing adolescent relationship abuse.
For the past ten years, Break the Cycle and the Love Is Not Abuse Campaign have been hosting It’s Time To Talk Day. This awareness campaign aims to generate conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. This year, the NO MORE campaign developed a toolkit titled “How to Start a Conversation: Talking About Dating and Healthy Relationships Step-by-Step”.
Because starting a conversation with teens can be daunting, the toolkit provides parents with an easy to follow guide complete with sample open-ended questions to start a conversation about teen dating violence.
The Love is Not Abuse iPhone app is an educational resource for parents that demonstrates the dangers of digital dating abuse and provides much needed information on the growing problem of teen dating violence and abuse.
Circle of 6 app Circle of 6 is an iPhone app for college-aged students and their friends to stay close, stay safe, and prevent violence before it happens. The design is simple. It takes two touches to get help and they use icons to represent actions, so that no one can tell what you're up to if they see your phone. The design ensures safety, speed and privacy.
One Love Foundation app The One Love Foundation app helps the user determine if a relationship is unsafe and helps to create the best action plan by weighing an individual’s unique characteristics and values. In partnership with LoveisRespect.org, the app provides access to trained advocate support 24/7 through an embedded live chat function. This app is free and can be used anonymously on smart phones and other electronic devices.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is sponsoring a series of events and opportunities for engagement throughout the month of February for Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month 2014. Click here to view our calendar of events.
There are many organizations that provide direct services to young people who experience dating violence, as well as information to adults who are concerned about young people. National initiatives and campaigns are also in place to provide training, technical assistance, public awareness, and community programming focused on engaging youth, adults, and community members to address dating violence. For a list of key national organizations, click here.
National Dating Abuse Helpline This hotline provides 24-hour national web-based and telephone resources to help teens experiencing dating abuse. Young people (as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers) anywhere in the country can call toll free, 1-866-331-9474, text “loveis” to 22522, or log on to the interactive website, loveisrespect.org, and receive immediate, confidential assistance.
Break the Cycle is a national nonprofit organization that provides preventive dating and domestic violence education and outreach to teens and young adults.
Love is Not Abuse Beginning in 2012, Break the Cycle is operating the Love is Not Abuse campaign and grassroots coalition of advocates. The campaign includes comprehensive resources for parents, a digital abuse curriculum and tips for engaging men and boys.