OUR VIEW: February brings awareness to teen dating violence

Published 11:30 am Friday, February 18, 2022

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February is widely known for being the month of love. It is also dedicated to bringing awareness to teen dating violence.

Teen dating violence month received its first significant victory in 2005 when the issue was highlighted with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

In 2006, Congress joined in by calling for the end of dating abuse and declared the first week of February as “National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Week.”

Then in 2010, they began dedicating the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.

According to teendvmonth.org, nearly 10% of all teenagers throughout the U.S. are affected by teen dating violence.

Many behaviors present red flags that may indicate your teen may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Here are a few of the behaviors that should be cause for concern;

  • Excessive jealousy or insecurity;
  •  Invasions of your privacy;
  •  Unexpected bouts of anger or rage;
  • Unusual moodiness;
  •  Pressuring a partner into unwanted sexual activity;
  •  Blaming you for problems in the relationship and not taking any responsibility for the same;
  •  Controlling tendencies;
  • Explosive temper;
  •  Preventing you from going out with or talking to other people;
  • Constantly monitoring your whereabouts and checking in to see what you are doing and who you are with;
  •  Falsely accusing you of things;
  •  Vandalizing or ruining your personal property;
  •   Taunting or bullying; or
  •  Threatening or causing physical violence.

If your teen or your teen’s partner exhibits any of these behaviors, there are many things you can do as a parent. Most importantly, trust your gut.

If you’re a teen,  talk to someone — a trusted friend, teacher, parent, or mentor. They were all a teenager once.

Teen dating violence is more common than you know, and we encourage victims in knowing that they are not alone and there is help out there.