Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Sheds Light on Critical Issue

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Sheds Light on Critical Issue
Photo courtesy of Little Elm PD

As February marks Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the spotlight is on addressing a pervasive problem affecting adolescents across the nation. According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 19 percent of teenagers experience dating violence.

To combat this alarming trend, the Little Elm Police Department shared some suggestions on several strategies to educate your teens and promote healthier relationships.

Consent Education: Emphasize the importance of consent in relationships, helping teens understand what it means and how to seek and give it freely.

Role Modeling: Provide positive role models of healthy relationships in both media and real life, showcasing mutual respect, communication, and equality. Too many times, teens look to sports figures or entertainment stars for role models while these same people show violent tendencies.

Discuss Red Flags: Help teens recognize warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, such as controlling behavior, isolation, or verbal and physical aggression. Encourage the teen to talk to someone about red flags and not get blinded by so called “love” for the abusive person.

Bystander Intervention: Encourage teens to speak up and intervene if they witness any signs of dating violence among their peers. Bystander intervention can be a powerful tool in preventing escalation.

Promote Self-Esteem: Help teens build self-esteem and confidence, as individuals with higher self-esteem are less likely to tolerate or engage in abusive behaviors.