Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month

Joyful Heart Foundation is proud to support National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month every February. 

The statistics on teen dating violence and abuse are staggering:

  • Nearly half of teen girls who have been in a relationship say they have been victims of verbal, physical or sexual abuse by their boyfriends.
  • This abuse is starting in tweens (11 – 14 year-olds).
  • Parents may not be aware of their own tween’s dating relationships, even though they believe they are. Findings show that more than three times as many tweens (20%) as parents (6%) admit that parents know little or nothing about the tweens’ dating relationships. In fact, twice as many tweens report having “hooked up” with a partner (17%) as parents reported of their own 11-14 year-old child (8%).

Teen Dating Violence is not a new phenomenon, but the awareness and acknowledgement of it is. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) now includes language around the issue. Each year since 2006, the first week in February has been dedicated to increasing public awareness of the prevalence of dating violence among teens and in 2010, Congress designated the entire month to the issue.

The crime of dating violence—which includes emotional, physical, and sexual assault, as well as harassment via digital communication like texting, email and instant messaging—is a reality for many of our nation's teens. It is also an issue that is beginning to draw the nation’s attention. 

Are you or someone you know in an abusive relationship? Help is out there; click here to get help from the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline.

The prevalence and signs of dating violence and relationship abuse may surprise you. Learn more at Break the Cycle or Love Is Respect.

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