As we approach February and Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month I’d like to ask you to take a minute and reflect on the young people in your lives and the relationships they are in.
According to the national Family and Youth Services Bureau, each year nearly 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner. The same site reports that teen dating violence impacts 1 in 3adolescents, in the forms of sexual, emotional and verbal abuse. Think about that statistic for a moment. Of the youth in your life, whether it be a son or daughter, a niece or nephew or a grandchild, someone very close to you might be dealing with an unhealthy relationship.
As we end January and head into February I’d ask each of you to take a few minutes to “check-in” with the youth in your life. Do you see any red flags? If you don’t know what to look for, link here for a list of things to note. If you see red flags, take some time to talk to your loved one about their situation. Without your help, they might not have the courage to step away.
Teen Dating Violence is often not talked about. I urge you to start the conversation now. One kind word or encouraging statement could be all that teen needs to begin to open up or walk away.
Stopping this crisis starts not just with the teens involved, but with the adults in their lives.
Check out Kaity’s Way’s P.E.A.C.E. Rights and Responsibilities for more insight and our calendar events for a workshop or resource table near you.
Let’s work together to end the need for organizations like ours. J