February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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  • Air University Public Affairs

Nearly 26% women and 15% of men in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before they become adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In order to spread awareness of these staggering statistics, February has been appointed as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

The month-long campaign focuses on advocacy and education to stop dating abuse before it starts.

“Teen dating violence is a serious and yet preventable form of violence,” said Cynthia Cuppernell, the 42 ABW/CVK Violence Prevention Integrator. “To help prevent teen dating violence, we as parents or professionals must have conversations with youth about teen dating violence to include how to start the conversation, how to hear potentially uncomfortable responses and how to best respond.”

Whenever you see the orange Teen Dating Violence Awareness ribbon, let it be a reminder to talk to a teen or young adult in your life to ensure they are involved in safe, healthy relationships.

“We must have an honest conversation with teens about healthy vs unhealthy relationships, trust, safety, respect, consent, and boundaries (emotional, physical and digital),” said Cuppernell. “We also have to talk about dating abuse in general terms and as it relates to social media: what it looks like, where to get help and how to escape it.”

To learn more about dating, healthy relationships, warning signs of unhealthy relationships, power and control, setting boundaries, consent, cultural factors, safety, supporting others, and many other topics, visit the Love is Respect website; due to government firewalls, you may have to use a personal device to access the website. You may also contact the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) at 953-5055 or Ms. Cuppernell via e-mail Cynthia.Cuppernell@us.af.mil

CDC: Teen Dating Violence Prevention

Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships