Dating abuse can happen to anyone. Did you know 1 in 3 teens experiences dating abuse? Dating abuse can be physical or emotional, and anyone can be a victim of dating abuse.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Our goal is to empower young people to build healthy relationships from the ground up, and we are starting with education and awareness.
Dating abuse is a pattern of behaviors one person uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. Many people assume abuse means that physical violence is happening, but that’s not always the case! Abuse comes in many forms—it’s not just physical. Young people who abuse their partners, do so because they feel they need to exercise power and control over the other person—and that’s never OK.
We know that in a single year, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner—and that’s one too many. We also know that 3 out of 4 parents do not talk to their children about teen dating violence. Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. High School and College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it. One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, online access, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse. Learning more about what dating abuse looks like is taking part in the movement to end it.
Everyone deserves to have a safe and healthy relationship. Every relationship has disagreements sometimes – it’s how you choose to deal with them that matters. Arguments with your girlfriend or boyfriend should never turn scary. If you’re looking to get out of an unhealthy relationship, there are anonymous peer advocates that can help. Just text “love” to 22522 to learn about your options.
One in three teens in our country experiences dating abuse—and I think that’s one too many! I’d love for you to join me in raising awareness about dating abuse and promoting healthy relationship during February, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. I believe that everyone deserves a healthy, safe and respectful relationship. Do your part and check out more information about dating abuse at www.loveisrespect.org