Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention
Dating violence is more common than people think, especially among teens and young adults: one in three teens in the US will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults, and nearly half (43%) of college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behaviors.
Every February, young people and their loved ones join together across the country for a national effort to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating violence through Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). This annual, month-long push focuses on advocacy and education to stop dating abuse before it starts. With their adult allies, youth activists achieved a major victory in 2005 and 2013 when the importance of addressing teen dating abuse was highlighted in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Both Chambers of Congress have declared the entire month of February to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.
Is This Abuse?
Every relationship is different, and individuals may experience different warning signs of abuse. Abuse is about power and control. Physical violence does not have to occur for a relationship to be abusive. Some common warning signs of abuse in your relationship may include:
- Controlling who you hang out with
- Controlling where you go and what you do
- Looking through your cell phone and social media accounts
- Controlling how you dress
- Constantly checking on you through calling, texting, etc.
- Manipulation – making you feel guilty (using the silent treatment)
- Threatening to hurt themselves, you or someone you love
- Threatening to “out” you
- Using jokes, threats or derogatory names about you, your gender, race, etc.
- Making you feel bad about yourself, your body, your appearance
- Pressuring you to have sex, even if it is in a way that seems nice, such as “I just want to show you how much I love you.”
- Pressuring you to do something against your will such as take/send sexual photos, perform sexual acts, use alcohol or drugs, have unprotected sex, etc.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, Fearless! Supports survivors in Orange and Sullivan County. Trained advocates are available 24/7 to provide support, information and referrals to victims and their families, and community members. Call our crisis hotline at 845-562-5340.
Dating Abuse Helplines
Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline have teamed up to offer the most comprehensive resource on the issue at loveisrespect. Complementing the site is the Helpline’s 24/7 chat, phone and text service and Break the Cycle’s prevention resources.
- Alianza, the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, addresses the needs of Latino/a families and communities.
- Anti-Violence Project based in New York City, The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) provides an extensive range of services, programs and initiatives, including such as crisis intervention, counselling, community advocacy as well as national technical assistance.
- Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence is a national resource center and clearinghouse on gender violence in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.
- Casa De Esperanza mobilizes Latinos/Latinas to stop domestic violence and leads the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention info on teen dating violence.
- Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the costs and consequences of partner violence at work – and eliminating it altogether.
- FORGE delivers monthly training webinars and monthly fact sheets designed to increase providers’ knowledge of transgender people and issues, and to improve their ability to provide respectful and culturally competent care to survivors of domestic violence, dating abuse, sexual assault, and stalking.
- The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project is grassroots, non-profit organization founded by a gay male survivor of domestic violence and developed through the strength, contributions and participation of the community.
- Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community focuses on the unique circumstances of African Americans as they face issues related to domestic violence.
- Men Can Stop Rape pioneered a novel way of looking at the epidemic of violence against women, dispelling the myth that it is solely a women’s issue.
- National Center for Victims of Crime works with individuals, families and communities harmed by crime to help victims rebuild their lives.
- National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence provides training to adult professionals on how best to incorporate abuse intervention and prevention into their work.
- National Network to End Domestic Violence brings together all state coalitions against domestic violence and other stakeholders to foster an environment in which violence against women no longer exists. They also provide information on staying safe from technological stalking and abuse.
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence hosts many valuable initiatives including the VAWnet Resource Center and the Women of Color Network.
- The National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women is a Native nonprofit organization addressing domestic violence and safety for Indian Women.
- The Network La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous, and queer communities. They strengthen these communities through organizing, education, and the provision of support services.
- Northwest Network founded in 1987 by lesbian survivors of battering, the NW Network works to end abuse in our diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. They provide both direct services to survivors of abuse as well as national technical assistance.
- The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) is working to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault. To that end, they host RYOT Against Rape and Teen Esteem for youth.
- Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE) a multinational nonprofit that works to educate communities, empower survivors, and eradicate injustice. PAVE’s efforts boldly aspire to free the nation from sexual assault and domestic violence, engaging survivors and non-survivors alike.
- Tribal Institute collects documents and hyperlinks to help professionals handling domestic violence cases and issues within Native American communities.
Public Awareness Campaigns
- A Thin Line is MTV’s campaign to reduce bullying, digital abuse and digital discrimination.
- Boss of Me or BOM campaign features teen ambassadors providing information and advice to other teens on preventing dating abuse.
- Coaching Boys to Men is the Futures Without Violence’s effort to engage males of all ages in preventing domestic violence.
- My Strength/Mi Fuerza is a bilingual campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence among youth and highlight the vital role that young men can play in fostering healthy, safe relationships by Men Can Stop Rape.
- One Billion Rising, a global campaign by V-Day, is a movement to end violence against women and girls.
- Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign designed to address dating violence and promote the prevention of dating violence on college campuses.
- The RESPECT! Campaign is the Futures Without Violence’s effort to promote healthy relationships through positive role modeling and education.
- That’s Not Cool helps young people draw a “digital line” about what is and is not okay in their relationships.