Every February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and the theme chosen for 2019 is “Your Love is Unique… with Consent.”
The activists of Let’s Be Real, Break the Cycle’s youth movement, wanted the 2019 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month theme to remind each and every one of you that your love is unique and you deserve to have your boundaries respected. This theme speaks to the importance of the differences in relationships, young love, and boundaries.
Telling the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships can be difficult. Although no two relationships are the same, these are common warning signs of dating abuse from BreakTheCycle.org:
- Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Constant mood swings towards you
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
Time to Make a Change
1 in 3 high school students experiences some form of dating violence. 81% of parents said they didn’t think or didn’t know if dating violence was a problem. It’s time to make a change!
If you see warning signs in the relationship of someone you know, talk to them, show your support and help them get the resources they need like creating a safety plan. These handouts and videos about healthy relationships are also helpful resources.
If you feel that your friend is in immediate danger or that their life is at risk or has been threatened, you may want to get emergency support by calling 911. You may also consider talking to a counselor, trusted adult, or legal aid if there is no immediate danger present.
Raise Awareness in Your Community
- Resources for Parents & Educators – Find handouts here for educating teens of dating violence.
- February 12, 2019 – Wear Orange 4 Love Day is on the second Tuesday in February and was started to raise awareness about teen dating abuse.
- It’s Time To Talk Day is an annual Teen DV Month awareness event aimed at generating conversations about healthy relationships and preventing teen dating abuse. Find more tips to start the conversation on dating abuse in Break the Cycle’s guide and here.
- Break the Cycle has put together 28 resources and ways and resources to be involved this February. Download the Healthy Me, Healthy We Teen DV Month Checklist.
24/7 National U.S. Hotlines
Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
Trevor Lifeline (for LGBTQ* youth): 1-866-488-7386
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-786-2929
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Hotline for Crime Victims: 1-855-484-2846
National Street Harassment Hotline: 1-855-897-5910