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?
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.
- 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)
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