Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teen Dating Violence - Yes, They're Victims as Often as Adults

Find Out More - February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 3 three teens and young adults experiences some form of dating violence? Or that 43% percent report it occurred in a school building or on school grounds? We think that’s so surprising – and so important – that we wanted to help get the word out.

Teen Violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to slow down just enough to learn a little more – like the fact that it’s been called a national epidemic and has been spotlighted on TV news. Katie Couric talked to teens, to the parents of teens who’d been brutalized or killed and to dating violence experts who shared more about what to look for and what to do.

We like to think that our teens are safe, at all times – especially at school and with those they consider their closest of confidants. But the statistics show that teens are just as vulnerable as adults when it comes to sexual abuse and domestic violence.


Last year, Milestones Communications sponsored a local public service announcement to help raise awareness about domestic abuse and then we talked to those who ran shelters both locally and around the country. You can see their interviews here.
We were shocked when we learned that 1 in 4 women at some time in their life report they’ve experienced domestic violence. Those who work in the field believe the numbers are as high as 1 in 3.
So, this year, we decided to boost our efforts and to make it a yearlong priority to help get the facts and to share the information.
A huge thank you to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence for its efforts in raising awareness. You can download a booklet specific to teen dating violence here.  


One in 4 teens in a relationship report being called names, harassed or put down by their partner via cells phones and texting and 12% of teen girls who have sexted say they felt “pressured” to do so.
We’re encouraged to report that Pennsylvania recently passed a law aimed at making the transmission of sexually explicit images by a minor an offense and that new technology is being used to help prevent dating violence more broadly.

New Technolgy

The 1is2many initiative uses technology and outreach to help reduce dating violence and sexual assault among teens and young adults; the Circle of 6 app utilizes text messaging to contact friends and GPS capabilities to locate a person and to connect to reputable domestic violence organizations; and the On Watch app lets users check-in with friends, call 911 or campus police with two touches of a button, set timers that send messages and GPS information automatically if events or activities don’t go to plan and that links to sexual assault, dating violence and domestic abuse hotlines.


Want more info? Try these links:
USA Today – Article on how teen dating violence affects well-being in adulthood
Loveisrepect.org – How to identify abuse, develop a safety plan, and help a friend
Loveisnotabuse.com – A look at the warning signs, links to resources and recent headline news
Veto Violence- Understanding teen dating violence prevention
Break the Silence – A video
No More – Together we can end domestic violence & sexual assault
National Dating Abuse Hotline – 24-hour resource specifically designed for teens and young adults. Accessible by phone or internet with real-time, one-on-one support from peer advocates trained to offer support, information and advocacy.
What is Dating Violence – More info on Teen Domestic Violence Month

If there’s a way we can help you get the word out about initiatives in your community, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email gwen@milestonespr.com. And best in all your efforts to end domestic violence.

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