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Does Violence Occur in Teenage Relationships?

It’s almost a universal consensus that teenage years are rough…

Perhaps this statement prompted you to reflect back on your own middle and high school years, or maybe you’re walking through this stage in your life right now. As if battling hormones, discovering who you are, and transitioning to adulthood aren’t enough, teen dating violence is also something to be cognizant of.

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Sometimes known as TDVAM, it is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen relationships, in addition to promoting programs thatprevent it from happening.  One in in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults1.

Graphic_CDC-Preventing-TDV-Requires-Change-at-All-Levels_2016
We at the Haven are staunch believers that educating our younger generations will help change the culture around dating violence. Because of this, our prevention team reaches out to local middle and high schools in the area to schedule presentations discussing healthy relationships and bystander intervention. This school year, the prevention team has scheduled 36 days of presentations, which comes out to roughly 3,000 students learning this information.

It is known that 3 in 4 parents have never had a conversation with their children about domestic violence2. Many times, our presentations are the first time that a student is being introduced to these topics from an educational standpoint; some of them have witnessed abuse or been victims of it themselves, but haven’t been exposed to qualities of an unhealthy relationship or ways that they can take action if they see something happening.

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Silence will not protect you or our children. We urge you to have these discussions within 
your family and with people around you. Only by continuous conversations and efforts can  we shift the stigma around dating violence and make it universally unacceptable.

 

How can you support our prevention efforts?

  • Talk with your teens. Educate you and your children about healthy relationships and personal boundaries. Teen Dating Abuse: How To Help My Child from Love is Respect and Bullying: Help Your Child Recognize the Signs of Bullying from National Bullying Prevention are great starting places!
  • Request a presentation. If you work with a group of teens, consider scheduling a presentation for your club, after-school program, religious youth group or community group! Contact our prevention educators at (925) 667-2727.
  • Donate to our Prevention Education Program. We currently produce presentations to some local Tri-Valley area middle and high schools. We hope to continue to expand our program to include all Tri-Valley middle and high schools. You can make help make this a reality by donating to our prevention efforts.

 

References:
1. Love is Respect. (February 2018). Teen DV Month 2018. Retrieved from http://www.loveisrespect.org/teendvmonth/
2. National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. (2017). Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://nrcdv.org/dvam/tdvam

 

We, at the Haven, are staunch believers that educating our younger generations will lead to a change in culture, and hopefully one day will eradicate the grave need for these types of discussions.

Dating violence is more common than one might think.

We strive to empower young people to build healthy relationships

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Megan Waggener is a Sexual Assault Advocate and Preventionist at Tri-Valley Haven.  For more information about how you can support our life-saving services for survivors and families, please call our office at (925) 449-5845 or visit http://www.trivalleyhaven.org

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this important blog posts – it is so important for teens to have their voices heard!

    Reply

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