FYSB’s Family Violence Prevention and Services Program Reached Thousands During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Two young people looking at a cell phone.February is National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. This year, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program recognized the month by reaching out to advocates, service providers and community partners. The program designed its awareness events to help reduce the prevalence of dating violence and promote healthy relationships among our nation’s vulnerable youth. 

Over 1,500 attendees participated in six webinars, a “Twit Chat” conversation on Twitter and a Blog TalkRadio session. Topics covered included

  • teen dating violence work in Indian communities;
  • engaging youth through social media;
  • the role of parents and caregivers in developing healthy relationships; and
  • the intersection of reproductive coercion and adolescent health.

Family and Youth Services Bureau grantees who led these national awareness events included the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the National Domestic Violence Resource Center, the Battered Women’s Justice Project, the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and Casa de Esperanza.  In addition to working with grantees, the program also collaborated with several federal agencies, such as the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Departments of Education and Justice. Together, FYSB and its federal partners worked to create opportunities for learning and discussions about experiences, concerns, efforts and solutions aimed at preventing teen dating violence.

“Dating violence is a topic I find myself having many conversations with others about since I was a teen but never having a name for it, just simply accepting it as a normal issue in ‘dating’ and relationships,” said Lori, a young woman who participated in a webinar on the intersection of reproductive coercion and adolescent health on February 27. “I am extremely glad to see this … being addressed on a larger scale.”

Dating violence and domestic violence are serious problems for young people.  These are not just adult issues. Violence in relationships touches the lives of Americans of all ages, leaving a devastating impact on people of every background and circumstance.  In 2010, local domestic violence programs supported by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act provided services to nearly 14,000 youth victims of dating violence.  During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month this year, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline received over 4,700 contacts including over 3,100 chats and texts.  This is a 25 percent increase from February 2011. 

To learn more about the National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Campaign, visit http://teendvmonth.org

If you or someone you know has been the victim of dating violence, free and confidential help is available 24 hours a day through the National Dating Abuse Helpline.

  • Call 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453.
  • Seek online support at Love Is Respect through the live chat feature.
  • Text ‘loveis’ directly to 77054 to begin a text chat with an advocate.