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Awareness of Teen Dating Violence on #TDVAM

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Tri-Valley Haven aspires and works toward, “protecting those in need, helping them to grow again, and seeking to build a more peaceful society.” So, naturally, we want to draw attention to issues and topics that related to those values. For those of you that don’t know, February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen Dating Violence Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it. One way that Tri-Valley Haven contributes to this noble effort, is by educating the youth in our community about healthy relationships, as well as unhealthy relationships, through a Prevention Education program.

The Prevention Education team is a diverse staff of Tri-Valley Haven employees that reach out to local middle schools and high schools to provide a wealth of knowledge that goes beyond talking about bullying and peer pressure. The Prevention Education team, through various presentations, activities, videos and reading materials, takes special care to inform students and young adults about the more-than-alarming reality of Teen DV, and just how relevant knowing what Teen DV is, looks like and how to get help really is.

Teen Dating Violence is defined, according to the CDC, as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional aggression within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner.

Dating violence is more common than many people think. One 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 adults. And, nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors! When the Prevention Education team presents these statistics to students and young adults, the common reaction is disbelief and overall shock. The truth is, these numbers are only a snapshot representation of cases that have been reported. So many cases go unreported, and the TVH Prevention Education team spends a lot of time discussing the reasons teens and young adults don’t report or leave an abusive relationship.

What are the risk factors for teen dating violence?

Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults, and the media. All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is NEVER acceptable! Violence is related to certain risk factors. The risk of having unhealthy relationships increases for teens who:

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  • Believe that dating violence is acceptable
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have other symptoms of trauma
  • Display aggression towards peers or display other aggressive behaviors
  • Use drugs or illegal substances
  • Engage in early sexual activity and have multiple sexual partners
  • Have a friend involved in teen dating violence
  • Have conflicts with a partner
  • Witness or experience violence in the home

What are the consequences of teen dating violence?

Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen. Youth who experience dating violence are more likely to:

  • Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
  • Exhibit antisocial behaviors
  • Think about suicide or attempt suicideScreen Shot 2019-02-12 at 18.27.00

Additionally, youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college.

Communicating with your partner, managing uncomfortable emotions like anger and jealousy, and treating others with respect are a few ways to keep relationships healthy and nonviolent. Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations like Tri-Valley Haven, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.

So, from all of us here at Tri-Valley Haven, we invite you to share the power your hands have to create meaningful relationships, raise awareness and educate others. Remember, everyone has a hand in ending dating violence! Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!


Tri-Valley Haven






Teen DV Month | Loveisrespect.org


Teen Dating Violence|Intimate Partner Violence|Violence Preventtion|Injury Center|CDC


This blog post was written by TVH staff member Kelly. Kelly is a Preventionist and Sexual Assault Advocate 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 post! I appreciated the information on the warning signs and symptoms of teen dating violence as well as the resources you gave. I’m glad Tri-Valley Haven is providing teen dating violence awareness education in area schools. It is going to take the entire community to create change.


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