Updated: Feb 2, 2021
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). Dating violence is more common than people think, especially among teens and young adults. Teen dating violence includes physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual abuse used by one person in an intimate relationship to exert power and control over their partner (MCADSV, 2021). Teen dating violence is an issue that impacts more than just the teens involved. It impacts their parents, friends, teachers, coaches and communities as a whole. One in three teens in the U.S will experience either sexual, physical, or emotional abuse from someone they are in a relationship with before becoming an adult (LOR, 2021). This annual awareness month is intended to drive advocacy and education to stop dating abuse before it starts. Spreading awareness and advocating for change can impact and make a difference in so many young teen's lives as well as shine a spotlight on this important issue. Everyone can have a role in preventing this violence and help to spread awareness.
How can you help? Talk to teens!
∙ Discuss the warning signs of dating abuse (all kinds, not just physical abuse).
∙ Create a positive connection to the issue – talk about the characteristics of healthy teen relationships, not just abusive ones – and use statistics sparingly.
∙ Talk about how the media portrays healthy and unhealthy relationships. For example, many popular movies, TV shows, commercials, books, and magazines portray stalking as romantic or harmless when it is actually very dangerous.
∙Get involved even if you don’t have a lot of resources – an information table, classroom discussion, or school announcement can get the conversation started.
∙Participate in "Wear Orange Day" on Tuesday, February 9th to show your solidarity with teens and to support healthy relationships! Take a selfie in your best orange gear and share it on social media. Include information on why you are wearing orange.
Want more information about how you can get involved? Visit:
If you or someone you know is being hurt, we can help. Call our 24/7 helpline/hotline at 908-453-4181 or chat with a trained advocate online.