February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and a great time to focus on the meaning of a healthy relationship. With one in three teens affected by dating violence, defining healthy relationships for our young people is critical to protecting them and breaking the cycle of violence.
Here are some facts and fiction surrounding the issue of teen dating violence to clear up common misconceptions about the issue.
FICTION: Verbal or emotional abuse is not really dating violence.
This is absolutely untrue. Verbal abuse, threats, and emotional abuse can constitute dating violence. Healthy relationships don’t include threats, punishment, manipulation, or hurtful words.
FACT: Women 16-24 are three times more likely to experience dating violence than the general population. Young women can be particularly vulnerable to dating violence. This can be helped by education our young women AND men on how to engage in a healthy relationship.
FICTION: Dating abuse is not too common in teenagers.
In reality, dating abuse is much more common than teens realize. 25% of high school girls have experienced threats and violence from an intimate partner.
If you know someone who is affected by teen dating violence, here are some resources that can help:
YOU can help make a change in creating awareness about teen dating violence!