Teen dating violence is an all too frequent occurrence, and as parents, we need to be more aware of the issue and help our teenagers recognize potential abusers, identify any patterns of abuse, and give them the tools to do something about it. One way to do all of the above is to do your part for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, in Februrary.
Teen dating violence is when one partner conducts abusive behaviors toward their partner and it is used to control and have power over them. Even though each relationship is different, there are still some behavior that is unacceptable. Teen dating violence can range from physical and sexual abuse to emotional, mental or digital abuse.
So what can well-meaning parents do to combat teen dating violence and raise awareness about the problem among teens and other adults? Lots!
Here are 5 things you can do to promote Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month:
- Wearing the color orange. The movement has chosen this color to raise awareness about the campaign and encourages all participants to wear the color and spread the word.
- Use social media. Spread the word to friends, family, teachers, school administration and co-workers about the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Take photos of your favorite teens wearing orange and post them online with an important statistic, success story or even just a link to a community event to raise awareness.
- Share the National Respect Announcement. This impressive document, created by the movement’s organizers, helps teach teens about giving and earning respect when dating. It can be read at school, on the radio or even shared online.
- Host an event. Open your home or work with your school, church or other organization to host an awareness event. It could be a seminar, a walk-a-thon or other community get-together to share the messages of healthy teen dating and raise awareness of teen dating violence in your community.
- Get schools on board. See about coordinating an assembly at your teen’s school to invite community activists to speak on the topic. Often, teens listen better when authority figures deliver a message than one from their own parents, so the more experts you bring in, the better they will absorb the ideas.
No matter what you do, make sure you contact your local media to ensure that the awareness campaign is reaching as many people as it can. Through your efforts and the efforts of your teenagers and other community members who are concerned about the issue, the teens in your area can become more educated on teen dating violence and how to not only recognize it, but to stop it.
Engage Your Local Media
In February, reporters turn their attention to dating abuse in greater numbers than any other time of year. Help make sure their interest turns into pieces that engage and educate your community.
It’s Time to Talk Day
For almost a decade, It’s Time To Talk Day has brought together parents, survivors, celebrities, nonprofit organizations, corporations and journalists to spread awareness about dating violence. Get involved on February 4, 2014 and take the pledge to speak with a young person in your life about healthy relationships.
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- What Did I Do Wrong, My Teen Is Violent?
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- Creating Healthy Relationships, Combating Teen Dating Violence
- I’m Worried My Teen May Be In A Violent Relationship
- Parenting Focused On Preventing Teen Violence
- The Hard Facts On Troubled Teen Violence
- Treatment For Violent Teens