Teen dating violence is common these days. We have to talk with our children, girls, and boys, about the situations they may encounter. You can start young by teaching your children what is not appropriate touching. If we start very young, they are better prepared if violence comes their way.
What Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month?
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM). This is an issue that impacts everyone – not just teens – but their parents, teachers, friends and communities as well. Together, we can raise the nation’s awareness about teen dating violence and promote safe, healthy relationships.
What Is the Impact of Teen Dating Violence?
Nationwide, youth age 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault. Studies show that approximately 10% of adolescents report being the victim of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner during the previous year. Girls are particularly vulnerable to experiencing violence in their relationships and are more likely to suffer long-term behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, eating disorders, and drug use.
Adolescents in abusive relationships often carry these unhealthy patterns of violence into future relationships. Indeed, children who are victimized or witness violence frequently bring this experience with them to the playground, the classroom, later into teen relationships and, ultimately, they can end up the victims and perpetrators of adult intimate partner violence.
Sex education, dating violence, and sexual assault were not spoken about in our household. My mother was so bad about communicating when I started my period I had no idea what was happening. I was scared and would not come out of the bathroom. There are many conversations that are difficult to talk with your children about but WE have to educate our children on what is appropriate and what’s not.
I was sexually assaulted as a pre-teen and because my mother didn’t talk to me about these types of things, I didn’t even tell her.
The more we communicate with our children, the more they are prepared for what comes their way.