According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), approximately 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner every year. Teen dating violence (TDV) is often defined as physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological violence that occurs within the dating relationship (CDC, 2017). These abusive behaviors may occur in person or electronically through the phone or social media with either a current or former dating partner. Unfortunately, for teenagers, dating violence is often overlooked and seen as a “normal” part of the relationship with behaviors such as teasing, name calling, or a belief that jealousy and/or possessiveness are signs that they are really loved by their significant other. The lack of a counter story only fuels these beliefs and it is estimated that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about unhealthy relationships (NRCDV, 2017).
Intimate partner violence is widespread, can start early and can cause serious short term and long term effects. More specifically, relationship abuse can cause the victim to develop depression, anxiety, and/or drug or alcohol dependency. In light of these shocking realities, February is dedicated as teen dating violence awareness month in an effort to raise awareness to combat TDV. For more information, consider checking out these educational apps:
Love is not abuse app: educational resource for parents on dating violence and specifically on the dangers of digital abuse. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lina/id443740581?mt=8
Circle of 6 app: resource for college-aged students who want to learn more about prevention and how to support a friend. https://www.circleof6app.com/
On Love Foundation app: FREE and Anonymous resource for those who want to determine if their relationship is healthy or unhealthy. This app provides 24/7 trained advocate support through a live chat feature. Also check out: http://www.loveisrespect.org/