February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Yohanna Mendez, LMHC
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Whittier Street Health Center wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do as a parent to prevent teen dating violence and abuse.
According to Break the Cycle among people who experience sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking, most experienced that violence for the FIRST time before the age of 25. The facts are that 1 in 3 of high school students experience physical or sexual violence or both from a dating partner. It is important for you to educate your teen about what are healthy vs. unhealthy boundaries in relationships. Your partner should respect your boundaries and when you say “NO”. Consent IS given, not implied or taken and everyone has a right to change their mind about what they are consenting to at any point in a relationship interaction.
Although there are many signs to pay attention to in a relationship, look for these common warning signs of dating abuse from Break the Cycle:
- Checkingcell phones, emails or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousyor insecurity
- Constantbelittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolationfrom family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Constant mood swings towards you
- Physically inflicting painor hurt in any way
- Telling someone what they can and cannot do
- Repeatedly pressuring someoneto have sex
Let your teen know that if they or someone they know see these warning signs in their relationship to seek support from someone they trust. Share with them that if something is happening that doesn’t feel okay they should talk to someone they trust- even if it isn’t you! There is help and support available! They can also text, loveis to 22522 to get some support.
If you are worried about your teen, call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.
You can also speak with your Pediatrician at the next visit. Support is available in the clinic.
The theme for February 2019 Teen DV Awareness Month is “Your Love is Unique…With Consent”
Encourage your teen to be part of this movement as a reminder that each relationship has it’s individual traits, and everyone deserves to have their boundaries respected!
You can help keep your loved ones safe and healthy.
- Here at Whittier we are hosting a Healthy Relationship Workshop in partnership with Sociedad Latina on February 14, 2019 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Please join us and get ready to discuss how to manage relationships especially in the era of social media. Please look towards the Whittier website to know of future upcoming teen events. For more information, visit wshc.org
- If you are looking for more information on Teen DV you can also visit breakthecycle.org
- Remember: “Your love is unique and you deserve to have your boundaries respected.”