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Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February, school counselors and social workers join the efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.
In addition, GPISD counselors and social workers work with guest speakers to present information about healthy relationships.
What Parents Can Do About Teen Dating Violence
Parents should start talking to their children about healthy relationships well before they start dating. Provide your children with examples of healthy relationships in your own life. Point out healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors in television, movies, and music and take an opportunity to talk to your child about what is appropriate and what is not.
It is never too early to teach self-respect. Teach your children to respect themselves.
Always keep the lines of communication open. Encourage your child to come to you. Listen to your child and refrain from lecturing.
Ask your child questions to encourage conversations about healthy relationships and awareness of dating violence, such as
- What makes a healthy relationship?
- What do you want in a relationship?
- What are the relationships like that you have witnessed at school or among friends?
- What would you do if you witnessed or experienced dating violence?
If you suspect your teen is the victim of dating violence, make sure your teen knows you are there to help. Be clear that you do not blame your teen and that you are, and always will be, supportive of your teen. When your teen does end the relationship, help your teen develop a safety plan to stay safe during and after the break-up. Get advice and resources from a domestic violence agency.