February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM). On February 9th, Human Response Network (HRN) invites the Trinity County community to observe TDVAPM by wearing orange and supporting programs and activities that promote healthy teen relationships and raise awareness about teen dating violence in our communities.
Teen dating violence, also known as dating abuse, is a serious and growing problem throughout California. Teen dating violence intervention and prevention programs can help to ensure a positive school climate and safe learning environment for all youth. Education and outreach programs such as HRN’s Expect Respect program address warning signs of teen dating violence among youth before behaviors escalate and teach positive healthy relationship skills.
Each year, an estimated 1 in 10 high school students is physically hurt on purpose by a dating partner; and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adolescents report verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual dating abuse each year.
Teen dating violence has been linked to other forms of violence and aggression against peers, including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and physical violence. Survivors of teen dating violence have increased risk for truancy, dropout, teen pregnancy, suicide, having eating disorders, and engaging in other harmful behaviors such as use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Survivors of teen dating violence are also at increased risk for carrying a weapon to school, being threatened or injured with a weapon at school, and damaging school property.
Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for a comprehensive primary prevention program, multiple strategies are required to prevent teen dating violence. These include teaching safe and healthy relationship skills, engaging influential adults and peers, disrupting the developmental pathways toward partner violence, creating protective environments, and supporting survivors to increase safety and lessen harm.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month supports communities to empower teens to develop healthy and violence-free relationships throughout their lives. HRN invites the people of Trinity County, including schools, community groups, families, and youth to observe Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month by wearing orange February 9th and supporting Expect Respect in our local schools.
For more information or to find out how to get involved, contact Human Response Network at (530)623-2024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or someone you know needs help with dating violence or abuse, you can call HRN’s 24-Hour Helpline at (530)623-HELP(4357).