February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Dating violence can happen to any teen in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship, anytime, anywhere. It can happen in person or online with a current or former dating partner. Bullying involves acts of violence, power or control of one person over another. But it does not have to happen at all.
One study found that young males who frequently bully peers in school are likely to perform acts of domestic violence as adults. Preparing schools and communities to prevent, identify and respond when students are in need of help is a high priority.
Below are examples of programs that can assist schools and communities:
- Expect Respect is a program that assists students, parents and teachers in supporting healthy relationships. The program uses groups, presentations, training and a volunteer program.
- Safe Dates is a program that helps teens recognize healthy and abusive relationships. The program seeks to prevent the onset of abuse in dating relationships.
- Fourth R: Skills for Youth Relationships is a program that promotes healthy and safe behaviors. The program aims to improve relationships with peers and dating partners.
Below are examples of programs and resources to help teens navigate bullying and teen dating abuse:
- That’s Not Cool Campaign is a national campaign raises awareness of teen dating abuse. The campaign youth are encouraged to send examples of unhealthy behavior to others via text messaging.
- Loveisrespect.org provides a safe space for young people to be feel safe and supported online and offline. Peer advocates are available to chat online.
- The National Dating Abuse Helpline offers online chatting, texting, and other resources. If someone needs help, please provide the number to the National Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474 (TTY: 866-331-8453). You may text “loveis” to 77054.
These are all excellent resources to provide you with the information you need to be a voice for change in teen dating violence and bullying prevention.