Sometimes, the victims of catastrophic injury are teens, who have been injured at the hands of romantic partners. Teen dating abuse is a serious national issue, and February is a month set aside to raise awareness of it and of how to prevent it. One in 3 young people will experience some form of abuse in their dating relationships, according to Break the Cycle, a national nonprofit. Please visit their website, teendvmonth.org, to get all the facts, information and resources you need to understand more about teen dating violence and how we can all work to prevent it.
Teen dating violence may take the form of physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse. In the modern world, dating violence between teens takes place over the internet and in text messages, where the victim may be harassed or intimidated. Among the tragic statistics regarding teen dating violence is the following:
- In a year, about 1.5 million American high school students experience physical abuse by the partner they are dating.
- 1 in 10 high school students has been intentionally slapped, hit or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Just 33 percent of teenagers tell anyone about an abusive relationship they're in.
Educators, adult allies, teens and everyone else can take action to help prevent teen dating violence. It's important to talk to young people about what is healthy and what is not healthy in a relationship.
In 2005, the need for awareness of teen dating violence was highlighted in the process of reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In 2006, both Chambers of Congress designated the first week of February as National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Week. Eventually the entire month became recognized as a period of awareness for this important issue.