5 ways to prevent teen dating violence
Posted by Kristen Barton
February 5, 2016
February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month, so it’s important we talk about not only what teen dating violence is, but how people can get involved in prevention.
Note: This is not something we as a society should only spend a month focusing on; it deserves constant prevention efforts and attention. It is also important to realize dating violence happens to young people and teenagers. In fact, one in five teenage girls and 10% of teenage boys experienced some form of dating violence in 2015.
Teen dating violence is physical, sexual, psychological, emotional violence or stalking by a former or current partner.
So often when we as a society hear the word “violence,” we automatically assume it’s physical, but violence comes in many forms. It is important to remember, recognize and prevent other forms of violence as well.
Here are 5 ways you can bring awareness to and prevent teen dating violence:
- Look for warning signs
If you notice someone around you is starting to have multiple injuries, a drop in grades or motivation or loss of interest in hobbies this could be a result of dating violence. Also be aware of symptoms of depression or anxiety, as these are often a result of dating violence.
- Act on warning signs
Finding warning signs is a great start, but ignoring them will not help solve the problem. Try talking to the person who you think is being hurt, offer your help. Help that person find counseling resources or a way out of an abusive relationship. There is also a National Dating Abuse Hotline you can call.
- Be supportive
When someone is going through something as traumatic as abuse, don’t blame them or get angry. It is important they feel love and support, not judged or blamed.
Help people understand what teen dating violence is and the symptoms. Hand out flyers, research it more, get involved at a women’s shelter in your community, help people know more about teen dating violence so they can help someone who could be in an abusive relationship.
- Remember the internet
Violence is not always face-to-face, we are a generation of the Internet after all, so be conscious someone could be dealing with abuse on the Internet from a former partner who is looking for ways to harass them.
Obviously this is not a full list, there are plenty of other ways you can help prevent teen dating violence.
What are some other ways you can think of?