Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
February marks the beginning of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). The Native Alliance Against Violence would like to help raise awareness by providing these posters with some do’s and don’ts of a healthy relationship. Please download and share them!
Some teens are beginning to have their first real relationships and at times it can be difficult to navigate through all of these new experiences. TDVAM offers up a chance for adults and teens to have open conversations about what’s healthy and what’s not.
If you have asked yourself how teen dating violence differs from similar types of adult abuse, read these examples:
Physical acts of abuse are masked as playful behavior or “play fighting”
Get sexually peer-pressured to “go further” than they wanted to
The role of technology has a much bigger impact in teen relationships than ever before
Forms of digital abuse:
Posting embarrassing photos online
Using your social networking account without your permission
Sending too many messages, making you feel unsafe
Spreading rumors about you online or through texts
Received messages that threatened you or made you feel scared
Took pictures of video of you and sent them to others without your permission
Someone posted bad things about you on the internet or to their friends
Statistics From Urban.org:
1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend
LGBTQ youth reported much higher rates of digital dating abuse and cyber bullying than heterosexual youth.
1 in four dating teens is harassed or abused through technology
25 percent of dating teens report they’ve been digitally victimized by their partners. Only 9 percent seek help, and rarely from parents or teachers.
How to help:
Be able to spot the warning signs (parents, schools, and the teens themselves)
·Parents and schools should be aware of any warning signs of abuse. For example: withdrawal from normal activity, mood swings, bruises or other types of physical harm, bad grades, and anything else that is not normal behavior for the teen
·The more we are aware of the signs of teen dating violence, the quicker we are able to stop it
Build awareness and support for students through schools or through your tribe
·Make sure if someone is suffering from teen dating violence, that there is a safe place for them to receive help. You can do this by starting a school or tribal peer group.