February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about healthy and unhealthy relationships, warning signs and prevention. Adolescents and adults are often unaware that teens experience dating violence. Unfortunately, it affects millions of teens in the U.S. each year. In 2010, to help raise awareness, the U.S. Congress enhanced what had been Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, based on the rising number of incidents in teens ages 11-17 across the country.
According to the 2017 Youth Behavior Surveillance Study report, nearly 1 in 11 female and 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence. In addition, about 1 in 9 female and 1 in 36 male high school students report having experienced sexual dating violence. According to the Center of Disease Control, during the pre-teen and teen years, it is critical for youth to begin learning the skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships (Preventing teen dating violence, 2020).
Unhealthy or violent relationships can have severe short and long-term effects on a developing teen. Studies show teens who experience relationship violence face additional risk for developing a violent relationship later in life. In addition, they are likely to develop depression, abuse substances, or think about suicide. As a community, we have a responsibility to make dating and domestic violence an intolerable act – anytime, anywhere. Jana’s Campaign is encouraged people of Hays and surrounding communities recognize this as a social issue that can be eradicated. We are extremely grateful for the hundreds of people who believe in the #PowerOfPrevention and help support and fund our work.
To do our part for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, Jana’s Campaign has developed a Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit to help communities understand, prevent and better respond to teen dating violence. The toolkit is free and can be found on the Jana’s Campaign website, www.janascampaign.org/awareness-toolkits.html. Additionally, Jana’s Campaign will post facts and statistics about Teen Dating Violence on our social media accounts throughout the month of February.
We believe through education we can change and improve attitudes, behaviors, customs, interactions, relations and social norms. Since 2013, Jana’s Campaign has worked with over 600 middle and high schools impacting over 73,000 students, including 6,065 K-12 students in Ellis County to educate about and prevent against gender and relationship violence. We commend these schools for understanding the importance of talking to their students about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Throughout February and beyond, please join us in our efforts to educate and raise awareness about the hidden social disease of gender and relationship violence, dating and domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. Learn more about Teen Dating Violence, our Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit and Jana’s Campaign at www.janascampaign.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you are interested in inviting Jana’s Campaign to your school or community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 785-656-0324.