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Teen Dating Violence

Hashtag love shouldn’t hurt

Do you remember your first crush or dating experience? Many adults are surprised to hear that dating violence is happening to teens, which sparks the need to raise awareness for healthy relationships. February marks the start of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and we want to highlight this important issue.  According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, 1.5 million adolescents in the U.S. have experienced physical abuse from a significant other. Likewise, 75% of parents have never talked to their kids about domestic violence, which may increase the chances of it to actually happen. For parents, it can be a challenge to talk to your children about these issues but there are many resources at your hand.

Dating violence, no matter what age it starts at, does not always appear as physical.  Sometimes it can appear in the form of sexual, emotional, verbal, and with the rise of technology it can even be digital. Oftentimes our first experiences with dating influence future relationships, which calls for the need to address these issues before they happen. Moreover, teenagers living with disabilities may be at an increased risk, according to the Administration for Community Living. What is most important is that we include youth living with disabilities in all conversations surrounding healthy relationships and prevention. Everyone has the right to have their boundaries respected and to feel safe in all relationships.

Thanks for reading!  And as always, we are here to help individuals, parents, and caregivers to open up these dialogues.  Please reach out for information, resources, and help.

Francisco Lozano
Heart Intern
franciscol@heartconsulting.org