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Swipe Left on Teen Dating Violence this Teen DV Month

February 1, 2017

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month – learn more about teen dating violence and ways to get involved

First loves are often exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Whether in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, navigating a romantic relationship for the first time can be challenging and confusing. Are we fighting too much? Are we hanging out too much? Are these feelings normal? It is hard to make these distinctions, especially because all relationships are different. Unfortunately, for too many youth this first glimpse into romantic partnerships is one that includes abuse.

One in three teens in the United States has experienced some form of abuse by a dating partner, culminating in 1.5 million teens experiencing dating abuse annually. [1, 2] This February, along with raising awareness about its prevalence, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is working to end and prevent teen dating violence.

Similar to other forms of domestic abuse, dating violence is characterized by a pattern of abuse that is used to gain and exert power and control over a partner. Abusive tactics generally become more frequent and more dangerous over time. Dating violence comes in many forms, including physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, and looks different in every case. Abuse may take place in person or through technology, such as sending harassing messages through an app or over social media. [3] An abusive partner may use their partner’s identity against them. For example, an abuser may threaten to ‘out’ an LGBTQ partner or disclose a victim’s immigration status. Dating violence can have serious consequences for victims, increasing their likelihood to experience depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts. [4]

Get Informed!

Raise Awareness!

  • February 14th is Wear Orange Day in honor of Teen DV Month and post your orange pictures with the hashtags #Orange4Love and #RespectWeek2017

Make Your Voice Heard!

  • Contact your local, state, and federal representatives and tell them to protect Violence Against Women Act funding, which funds services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking
  • Join the loveisrespect National Youth Council
  • Join in on Teen DV Month Twitter chats with the hashtag #teendvchat:
    • February 8th, 6:30pm (CT) “Love is Respect, Online and Off,” a conversation on healthy online relationships and other issues that young people face while using technology, hosted by loveisrespect and That’s Not Cool
    • February 15th, 7:00pm (CT) “Let’s Talk About Respect + Sex, Baby,” a discussion on healthy and unhealthy sexual relationships, hosted by loveisrespect

[1] Davis, Antoinette, MPH. 2008. Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus. Available at http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/2008_focus_teen_dating_violence.pdf

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students—United States, 2003,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2006, Vol. 55, No. 19.

[3] The National Network to End Domestic Violence. (February 17, 2015). ‘A Glimpse From the Field: How Abusers Are Misusing Technology’. Available at: https://www.techsafety.org/blog/2015/2/17/a-glimpse-from-the-field-how-abusers-are-misusing-technology

[4] Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality” JAMA. 2001;286(5):572-579. doi:10.1001/jama.286.5.572