February was Teen Dating Violence month or sometimes referred to teen domestic violence. And for the entire month many organizations and individuals spotlighted the facts about TeenDv and how if affects students and families everyday. Everyone is aware of domestic violence, there is an entire month dedicated to it’s awareness. Especially with the recent headlines including athletes it is now the focus of the some bigger organizations like the NFL. What became painfully obvious as I spoke to teens and parents is that while everyone is aware of domestic violence, some people were baffled about how teens deal with the same exact issues. There are so many are totally oblivious of how it affects our teens on a daily basis.
Parents or adults often ignore the signs because, let’s face it, teens can be temperamental anyway, And whereas you think this is just another day on the roller coater you miss the signs or just don’t realize it is happening. Parents especially miss the signs often because they don’t know they exist. Think about it. How easy is it for a teen to be labeled attitudinal when they are really masking the pain of dating violence? One thing is to know the signs. Isolation from friends and family. Extreme jealousy or the need to constantly check in. Mood swings or extreme temper changes. Someone checking your social media and phones. The need to know your every move.
Did you know?
33% of teens in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse.
Violent behavior often begins between 6th and 12th grade. 72% of 13 and 14-year-olds are dating.
Jealousy and possessiveness are a sign that the person sees you as a possession. It is the most common early warning sign of abuse.
In the U.S., 25% of high school girls have been abused physically or sexually
Last month we had the opportunity to partner with BlackCelebrity Giving to shine the light on teen dating violence and host the #WeSpeak #BeautyfortheBold day of awareness. The event was open to parents and teens and allowed for an open honest discussion.
Well I challenge any adult that is raising or working with teens to become aware and know the signs. Have the conversations. Get some help. Know who your teens are involved with. Pay attention! You just might save a life.