February marks Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. We value the opportunity to support young people in identifying and building the healthy relationships that they deserve. Unfortunately, many young people experience unhealthy relationships. We know from the CDC that 1 in 3 young people experience some form of abuse in a dating relationship, and 1 in 10 young people experience physical violence.
In our program, we teach young people effective communication skills as a starting point for building safe and strong relationships and advocating for their needs. This workshop reflection from one of our volunteers highlights how valuable it is for young people to have a space where they can learn and share their own ideas about sexual relationships:
“It was really inspiring to see the young people taking the Communications & Advocacy workshop content seriously and asking some tricky questions about consent. They were very engaged and genuinely wanted to learn about what qualifies as consent and what doesn’t. Later, when asked about health topics they might want to advocate for, many of the students brought up safe sex and sexual assault.”
We are grateful for the opportunity to have these conversations in the PHE classroom, and hope to continue to raise awareness to help prevent dating violence and unhealthy relationships for young people. We need to talk to young people about what constitutes a healthy relationship, and how they can get help if they need it. As a leader in this work, loveisrespect.org has many great resources for young people, and those who care about them, to help get the conversation started. Some other great resources for raising awareness this month:
- Center for Disease Control (CDC): How to better understand teen dating violence and what you can do from the
- Break The Cycle: Because Everyone Deserves a Healthy Relationship
- Help a Friend: Get Help for Someone Else
- loveisrespect.org webinar: “The New Normal: Understanding the Dating Culture and Dating Abuse in Today’s Society,” on February 25, 2016 register here