February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen Dating Violence Prevention

The statistics on teen dating violence are a call to action. “Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.” Our response is critical.

Setting the course for healthy relationships begins with education in the home and in our school districts. What type of relationship skills are we modeling for our children at home? How can we best educate our students to form healthy relationships? A partnership between home, school, and the community can build a foundation for our teens to develop healthy relationships, formed on mutual respect. The results are positive, as healthy relationships improve communication, build self-esteem, and foster independence.

The relationships we build in our homes are essential to a child’s development. Spend time with your kids. Set aside fifteen minutes a day for interactive play with your child. Limit screen time and encourage reading, creativity, and imaginative play.

Our teens also will benefit from one-on-one time. Encourage activities involving the use of interpersonal skills such as volunteering or involvement in after-school activities. Be there for one another. Lend a word of encouragement, a smile, or a helping hand. Together we can do more, love more, and create a kinder world.

The partnership between home, school, and community is essential to the prevention of teen dating violence. 180 Turning Lives Around offers free programs to Monmouth County schools and community agencies on teen dating violence prevention. Facilitated by a 180 staff member, programs include: Safe Dates – An Adolescent Dating Abuse Prevention program for middle schools, and a Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness program for high schools. Please contact our Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator for more information: 732-264-4360, Ext. 3271.

Please click below for additional information on teen dating violence prevention:

http://180nj.org/get-help/domestic-violence/additional-resources-and-info-on-domestic-violence/teens-and-dating-violence-your-rights-in-a-relationship/

Please visit www.2ndfloor.org for additional resources and support for teens.

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