National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Emma Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

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As February comes to an end, it’s important to discuss one of the things it represents. While the month is often associated with love and romance due to Valentine’s Day falling in the middle, the month is also a time to reflect on the possible negative sides of relationships, since February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

What it is

National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month was officially designated as February in 2010 by Congress in hopes of bringing attention to the often ignored issue. Since then, the discussion on teen dating violence has increased, but is still something many people are unaware of. Abuse can be verbal, sexual or physical.

Why it’s important

As high school students, it’s important we watch out for abuse in our relationships, as well as our peers’. Here are some quick facts about teen dating violence.

  • 1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. have been, are, or will be in an abusive relationship
  • Girls ages through 16 and 24 are the group most likely to be abused by a romantic partner
  • 1.5 million high school students are physically abused every year by a romantic partner
  • 1 in 5 high school girls have reported being physically and/or sexually abused

Dating violence is alarmingly common, and part of the problem is people not realizing when a relationship is abusive. Here are some warning signs to watch for in your own and others’ relationships.

  • A partner exhibiting overly possessive and untrusting behavior
  • A partner attempting to isolate their partner from friends and family
  • A partner threatening to harm themselves or their partner
  • A partner who is belittling and critical
  • A partner pressuring and guilting their partner to do something they don’t want to
  • A partner being focused only on their own emotions

What you can do

If you think you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, talk to someone you trust, preferably an adult. Figure out what the best course of action is in attempting to address the situation. If possible, always end a relationship you are not safe in. However, be sure to do it in a safe way where you are not putting yourself in danger. Safety should always be the top priority.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call 1-866-331-9474, chat at or text “loveis” to 22522.

There are many organizations with more information on what abuse is and what you can do about, and many who offer services to help.

Help is always available. If you or someone you know is being abused, always talk to someone.  

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