February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Since 2010, February has been nationally recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. One in three teens will experience some type of abuse in their dating life.  With love in the air this month, it is important to learn the signs of an unhealthy relationship before it is too late.

In recognition of this important cause, the Prevention Center’s Teen Voices, Teen Choices program is hosting an event to spread awareness amongst teens. Join us for food, fun, and activities while we talk about relationships and what love means to you. Bring your friends and/or special someone and join in the conversation!

When: Tuesday, February 28th, 4pm-6pm

Where: Chapman University’s Wallace All Faiths Chapel, One University Drive, Orange,CA 92866

To RSVP for this event or for more information on our Teen Voices,Teen Choices Program contact Susan Jaeckel at 714-824-7662 or [email protected] and read her blog!

Please click here for a downloadable flyer to pass out to your club, church or group of friends!

About Teen Voices, Teen Choices

The goal of our Teen Voices, Teen Choices program is to empower teens to realize they have the right to a healthy relationship.  It is important that programs like ours, model healthy relationship behaviors because for so many youth, they don’t know what is appropriate and what is not in a relationship.  Unfortunately, the media often portrays unhealthy relationships where one partner dominates the other or where jealousy is interpreted as a sign of love.  These portrayals are now embedded in societal definitions of “normal.”  Teens also learn behaviors from the sometimes volatile relationships they observe at home.  This is why it is important for parents and caregivers to model respect and healthy communication.

Leaving an abusive relationship can also be a very dangerous and difficult time. Only 33% of teens who were in abusive relationships ever told anyone about it. Our Teen Voices, Teen Choices program raises awareness about the realities of teen dating violence and provides insight into how one can help a friend or family member. The majority of the time, the person going through dating or domestic violence is just looking for someone to listen.  If a person does express they want help, it can be offered by way of accompanying them to report an incident or talking to a professional.  During this stage it is vital not to judge the person who you are helping or bash the other partner as this may provoke the person to become defensive and turned off to support.  Teen Voices, Teen Choices is committed to ensuring each person has the tools to utilize all available community resources.

Teen dating violence has become a prevalent part of our society.  This is illustrated by some of the recent statistics:

  • 1/3 of teens will experience some type of abuse in an intimate relationship
  • Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average
  • About 40% of teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend
  • 68% of young, female rape victims knew their rapist as a boyfriend or friend
  • 1/10 of high school students have been purposefully hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year