By Kayla Woody, House of Hope DVPI Prevention Specialist
February is a month often known for everything love. It is not just for Valentine’s Day gifts and sweethearts, though. February is also National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States report being physically abused by a dating partner every year and almost half of young college women experienced violent abusive behaviors from their partner.
The CPN House of Hope wants to encourage everyone to bring acknowledgment to dating violence and consider the health of your own relationships during February.
There are many ways to observe the importance of this month. The best way to start is with conversations. For parents, the best thing you can do to protect your children from relationship abuse is to talk with them about red flags. In an online survey published by the Journal of Adolescent Health, only half of the parents that participated discussed dating violence with their children. It is vital that parents discuss important topics like dating abuse and teach children that love is respect.
Teachers and youth leaders can also play a vital role in educating young people about dating violence. Classroom discussions centered around prevention can give teens the tools they need when abuse is encountered.
There are also many resources for teens and young adults who may be experiencing dating violence. Organizations like Love is Respect, Futures Without Violence, and One Love Foundation focus on assisting teens. Understanding what resources are available and being able to provide them quickly to teens who are struggling can save a life.
For more ways to highlight this month, visit our website at cpnhouseofhope.com.
If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault and would like more information, please contact the CPN House of Hope at 405-275-3176 or reach out on social media at facebook.com/cpnhouseofhope.