TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH │ CRUSH OR BUST │ PREVENTION IN YOUR SCHOOLS
The effects of dating violence are not excluded to adults. In fact, dating violence is quite common among teenagers. Young women aged 18 to 24 experience the highest rates of dating violence.
Dating violence is a series of coercive, intimidating, or manipulating acts that are used to exert power over someone else. Because relationships are on a spectrum, sometimes it’s hard to see when a relationship has crossed the threshold into unhealthy and abusive.
Some signs to look out for if you believe you may be in a dangerous situation are:
- Checking your phone, social media accounts, and other personal items without your permission.
- Belittling you behind closed doors and in front of others.
- Isolating you from your friends and family.
- Emotional and explosive outbursts that scare you.
- Any kind of physical harm to you, pets, or objects.
In a year, 1 in 3 girls is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner. And 1 in 4 boys who have experienced sexual and physical abuse by a dating partner seriously contemplated suicide. *
*Reclaim The Internet – Teen Dating Violence Statistics. https://reclaimtheinternet.com/dating/teen-dating-violence-statistics/
1. Drugs and alcohol are the only factors when dating violence happens.
Bust! Drugs and alcohol may increase the tension in situations, but it is not the reason that dating violence happens. Dating violence happens when one partner exerts power and control over the other.
2. If violence happens once, it is likely that the violence will occur again.
Crush! There are some situations where violent incidents are truly a one-time thing, but most times the cycle of violence may continue.
3. Teen dating violence is not dangerous.
Bust! Teen’s experience dating violence and, in some cases, may be lethal.
4. Teens who experience dating violence will always tell a trusted adult.
Bust! Only about 30% of victims will tell a trusted adult, and most parents haven’t had these conversations with their teenagers.
5. Dating violence is only physical.
Bust! Dating violence is physical, but it can also be emotional, financial, and even digital.
6. Boundaries are a great way to protect yourself and have healthy romantic and platonic relationships.
Crush! Boundaries are an essential part of relationships. Being able to talk about what makes you uncomfortable or what you need is important for a healthy relationship.
If you think that you or a friend may have experienced dating violence, it’s important to create a safety plan and reach out to a local organization or hotline. Places like Abigail’s Arms can help navigate potentially violent situations. We have a 24-hour hotline at 940-665-2873.
Over the years, Abigail’s Arms has become a vital resource to the Cooke County Community. With four core programs essential to supporting residents of Cooke County, there is one dedicated entirely to preventing future episodes of violence. The Community Advocacy and Prevention Education (CAPE) program, more commonly referred to as “CAPE,” emphasizes youth leadership and community education. This well-established program serves all school districts in the county.
Each week members of the CAPE team visit various schools to teach evidence-based curriculums handpicked by counselors, teachers, and parents to empower students. Even more than teaching the curriculums, CAPE members seek to be positive role models and provide a safe place for children to learn and share about healthy relationships and building community.
Ginger Johnson, the Executive Director, and the rest of our CAPE team would like to end violence in families. What we’ve learned through research and observation is that you have to start young and empower children to respectfully use their voice to protect themselves. Building leaders and empowering our community members is at the core of what we do.