February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Research shows 1 in 3 high school students experience physical and/or sexual violence from a dating partner.  Join Family Services this February as we recognize Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM).  

Get Involved:

Participate in Wear Orange Day on Tuesday, February 12th. Wear the color orange to bring awareness to teen dating violence and prevention.  Help us turn Tulare County Orange.  Post a photo, tag Family Services and use the hashtag #Orange4LoveTC on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 

Click here to visit our event page on Facebook.

What is dating abuse?

Dating abuse is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to gain power and control over a dating partner. It is important to acknowledge that it can happen to anyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, ethnicity, religion or culture.  Over half of women and men who have experienced physical or sexual abuse from a dating partner, first experienced abuse between the ages of 11-24.

Dating violence can include:

  • Physical abuse: any physical force to cause fear or injury (hitting, kicking, using a weapon, etc.)
  • Sexual abuse: any sexual activity that occurs without willing, active, unimpaired consent: including rape, coercion, unwanted touching, and restricting access to or tampering with birth control
  • Verbal & Emotional abuse: threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, or isolation
  • Digital abuse: use of technology or social media to intimidate, harass, or threaten a current or former dating partner
  • Financial abuse: taking or withholding money from a partner or preventing them from earning
  • Stalking: being repeatedly followed, watched, monitored, or harassed; it can occur online or in person

Common warning signs:

  •  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
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling someone what to do
  • Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex

Dating violence is preventable when education and resources are available to young people.  If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, please reach out to Family Services’ 24/7 hotline at 559-732-5941.  They may also text “loveis” to 22522.  Additional resources are available at breakthecycle.org and loveisrespect.org.

Sources:

Breiding, M.J., Chen J., & Black, M.C. (2014). Intimate Partner Violence in the United States — 2010. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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