Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is with this belief that we recognize Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month this February as an opportunity to educate ourselves and those around us about the prevalence of teen dating violence. Each year it is estimated that 1.5 million high school students in our country experience physical abuse from a dating partner.
There are many resources available to provide support to victims and assist service providers and communities in their efforts to decrease the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Information is powerful prevention. Check out resources such as the red flags of an unhealthy relationship and the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) prevention curriculum Dating Matters®: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence provides suggestions on actions you can take and links to information to increase awareness and understanding. Those working with runaway, homeless, and street youth will be interested in better understanding the intersection of homelessness with relationship violence with The Runaway and Homeless Youth Relationship Violence Toolkit.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2018’s theme is “Hands Unite: Do your part.” This phrase is constructed to empower young people to build healthy relationships from the ground up. As loveisrespect.org so elegantly states, “Your hands are a tool for creation, and they play a role in ending dating abuse. Your hands are made for loving and helping—not hurting the ones you love.”
Additional Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2018 Resources