Teen Dating Violence

In 2013, it is estimateupset-girl-doing-homeworkd that 1 in 10 teens will be hurt intentionally by someone they are dating.

In a presidential proclamation released on January 31 in honor of February being National Teen Dating Violence (DV) Awareness and Prevention Month, President Obama encourages each of us to take a stand and speak out against dating violence. “We have a responsibility to make dating violence an act that is never tolerated in our communities, among those we know, or in our own lives,” said the President.

Since 2010, the month of February has been dedicated to raising awareness and supporting programs that educate about Teen Dating Violence. Any youth or young adult can experience dating violence. This can include violent acts, abuse, or unhealthy behaviors in the relationship. It is important to know the warning signs of dating violence and how to free yourself from a dangerous relationship.

Know the Statistics

According to BreaktheCycle.org dating violence includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or digital abuse. Nearly 1.5 million high school students are experiencing abuse from their significant other, in a single year. The need to focus on young adults is prevalent because females from age 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence- three times the national average. Most importantly, the severity of intimate partner violence is most dangerous and continuous when the pattern of abuse is established in adolescence

Only 33% of teens who are in a violent relationship reported the abuse and 81% of parents don’t think that dating violence is an issue.

Signs of Abuse:

Does your significant other…

  • Check your email or phone without permission?
  • Constantly put you down or insult you?
  • Have extreme jealousy or insecurity in your relationship?
  • Have an explosive and dangerous temper?
  • Isolate you from your family and friends?
  • Make false accusations?
  • Have mood swings?
  • Physically harm you in any way?
  • Feel possessive and controlling towards you?
  • Tell you what to do?

Get Help

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be experiencing abuse from your partner. You should get out of this relationship as soon as possible.

Dating violence can affect anyone at any age and violence in any form is a serious issue. Below are resources to help you get your freedom.

RESOURCES

  • Hubbard House: Domestic Violence center serving Duval and Baker counties in Northeast Florida – 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119, www.hubbardhouse.org 
  • Break The Cycle: The only national non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to ending dating abuse, www.breakthecycle.org
  • National Teen Dating Hotline: (866) 331-9474, www.loveisrespect.org (has live chat)

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

By Hannah Johnson

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Dating Safety Tips

Dating Safety TipsEvery year on February 14th, people all over the country anticipate the excitement of what love may bring them. For those who have found love already the day is special because it is another day shared with their beloved. However, for others, the wonder of who cupid may find for them on St. Valentine’s Day is a mystery.

First dates are exciting, and can even lead to love; however, you should always take safety precautions – posted below are tips to help keep you safe when dating:

DATING SAFETY TIPS:

  • Know who you are meeting! Try to learn everything you can about someone before meeting them in person.
  • Background checks and criminal background checks are always beneficial. If they have previous violent offenses in their past, you could be at risk.
  • Always drive your own car to the date until you are comfortable with the person. This ensures you have a safe way out.
  • Always meet in a populated place and stay in public for the duration of the date. Never go into a secluded place.
  • Let your friends or family know where you are going, who are you are going with, and the time you should be home.
  • Make sure you keep your cell phone with you, and on, at all times!
  • Keep conversation light and fun. Don’t give out personal details that may flag you as vulnerable or easy to target.
  • Stay sober. Also, do not accept a drink you didn’t watch the staff make. This will help you avoid any type of unwanted addition to your drink that may be slipped in (i.e. drugs or alcohol).
  • If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any time during the date or if your date shows any signs of anger, control or wants you to do something you are uncomfortable with, these are all red flags. Know what red flags are and how to get out of a bad situation.
  • Never accept a ride home or invite someone over on the first date!

 Think you are being “too cautious?” When looking for love, one must be aware of the possibility and know the signs of abuse. Take a look at these dating violence statistics:

  • 53 percent of domestic violence victims are abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate violence.
  • In America every 2.5 minutes someone is sexually assaulted. (Rape is the most underreported crime, with an estimated 62 percent of sexual assaults unreported.)
  • 60 percent of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in America. (Stalking includes harassing or threatening behaviors such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home or work, repeated phone calls, repeated text messages, or vandalism. With the increased availability of information on the internet through social media and online dating, cyberstalking is becoming a problem as well.)

 With these statistics, it is important that individuals looking for love be aware of the possibilities of danger that can come along with dating. If you are in a dangerous situation call 911 immediately. When seeing someone new always have a safety plan and know the red flags!

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119. Hubbard House can help.

ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE: Founded as the first domestic violence shelter in Florida in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children, and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic childcare, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.

 By Hannah Johnson