Kenya Fairley, Program Manager, Division of Family Violence Prevention & Services, Family & Youth Services Bureau
One in ten high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend and one in six college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that approximately 7% of adult women and 4% of adult men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced some form of partner violence by that same partner and before 18.
Each month, the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s loveisrespect project responds to over 5,000 contacts via phone, text, and online chat.
The impacts of violence last long beyond the incident itself. Youth who experience intimate partner violence are more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety; engage in tobacco, drug, and alcohol use; exhibit antisocial behaviors; have thoughts of suicide; and be victimized in college.
During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we encourage individuals and communities to work together to inform youth and the adults in their lives about the signs of unhealthy relationships and where to go if help is needed.
A great way to learn more is through loveisrespect. Funded through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), loveisrespect provides support, information, and advocacy to young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships, and can also help concerned parents, teachers, service providers, clergy and law enforcement understand how to address abuse among the young people they serve.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
Have questions about the health and safety of your relationship? Contact loveisrespect, any day/any time, to talk with a peer advocate at 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 or chat online at http://www.loveisrespect.org. Also, take dating quizzes, get resources, and read blogs on dating and hooking up, dynamics of abuse, self-care, and helping others.