February is Dating Violence Awareness Month & 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of efforts to end Dating Violence. Enough is enough! Everyone deserves healthy relationships. We can influence change in how we treat our partners and how we respond to acts of abuse. Take ACTION and put an END to Dating Violence.
Teen dating violence is remarkably common, yet it is rarely discussed. According to national statistics, 1 in 3 girls in the U.S. will experience some sort of dating violence, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Are You a Parent or Guardian of a Teen? Here are 4 tips to guide your conversation about Healthy Relationships:
- Be open – Allow your teen to express their views of what a healthy relationship looks like. Allow them to reflect without dismissing their views.
- Teach your teen the signs of an unhealthy relationship – Point out unhealthy behaviors, let them know that abuse comes in many forms and to be aware of the signs.
- Encourage your teen to talk to you or someone you trust – Relationship talk can be a taboo subject, it maybe a little uncomfortable for you and your teen to discuss. Ask someone that you and your teen trust to have this conversation.
- Offer resources – Connect your child to adolescent medicine. The physicians can talk to your child about their developing bodies, hormones, sexual health and relationship.
If a loved one discloses their concerns or tells you about violence in their relationship, knowing what to do can be difficult. Here are some guidelines to help you respond:
- Listen first and take it seriously – Brushing off someone’s disclosure could send the message that what they’re experiencing is not that bad and make them reluctant to reach out in the future.
- Thank them for disclosing – Only 33% of teens in violent relationships has told someone about the abuse. Let them know you appreciate them telling you and you want to support them.
- Prioritize their needs – Let them know that they are not responsible for the violence and ask them how they would like you to help.
- Get help – If you think a person is in immediate danger or has been threatened, don’t be afraid to get emergency help involved. If there isn’t an immediate danger you can always get a trusted adult, counselor or advocate involved to help you. Let them know there are resources available and that you can call those resources together.
Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline:
National Teen Dating Violence Hotline
1-866-331-9474 or text “LOVEIS” to 22522.
Check out these national resources that provide support and information for youth and concerned loved ones.