Februrary is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenaged dating partners, occuring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital. TDV occurs across diverse groups and cultures. -National Resource Center on Domestic Violence- (NRCDV).

Teen Dating Violence 4

What are some of the warning signs of teen dating abuse?

The warning signs to look out for are unique for the teenage population:

  1. Constant and obsessive jealousy (always questioning the other persons whereabouts and motives)
  2. Personal insults, name calling, put downs, degradation, lack of respect
  3. Unrealistic expectations about what someone should do and how much time someone should put into a relationship
  4. Constant communication via text or other forms of social media
  5. Isolation from friends or family
  6. Controlling what someone wears, how someone dresses
  7. Force or coercion to do things that one person does not feel comfortable with (often times this is comes in the form of sexual pressure.)
  8. Tracking or stalking via GPS or other technological means
  9. Violence towards others or other things (hitting walls, getting into physical altercations outside of the relationship)
  10. Threats of abuse (verbal or physical)
  11. Fear of partner
  12. Physical abuse

Prevention and education are key to ending dating abuse. 40% of teens say that they would not know what to do if they were to witness dating abuse. Many try to support friends in a manner that does not help or may even be harmful. Some are too afraid to try to help. 46% of teens who have known a victim of dating abuse did not intervene.- Respond, Inc.

This awareness campaign aims to create more conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. This year, the NO MORE campaign developed a toolkit titled “How to Start a Conversation: Talking About Dating and Healthy Relationships Step-by-Step”. You can break the cycle of silence.

Mobile Apps suggested by NRCDV.org listed below:

The Love is Not Abuse iPhone app is an educational resource for parents that demonstrates the dangers of digital dating abuse and provides much needed information on the growing problem of teen dating violence and abuse.

One Love Foundation app The One Love Foundation app helps the user determine if a relationship is unsafe and helps to create the best action plan by weighing an individual’s unique characteristics and values. In partnership with LoveisRespect.org, the app provides access to trained advocate support 24/7 through an embedded live chat function. This app is free and can be used anonymously on smart phones and other electronic devices.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship or have been the victim of a Sexual Assault, please contact the Somerville Police Family Services Bureau. We have an in-house Victim/Witness Advocate that can help answer your questions.

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