February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Date: February 05, 2024

Dating can be an exciting phase of life for teenagers as they explore new relationships and connections with their peers. However, navigating new partnerships can also lead to uncertain feelings or scary situations. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a time to discuss the characteristics of healthy, unhealthy or abusive relationships with your teens and how to seek help if needed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence affects nearly 1 in 12 U.S. high school students. It is more than physical or sexual violence — it includes coercive, intimidating or manipulative behaviors and can happen in person or online. Teenagers often think things like teasing or name-calling are normal in a relationship, but these behaviors can escalate into serious forms of violence.

Many teens are afraid to tell family and friends when relationships become unhealthy or abusive. Discuss what healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships look like with your teens, and become a nonjudgmental refuge where they can confide their relationship concerns.

Healthy Relationships
Both partners:

Unhealthy Relationships
One or both partners:

Abusive Relationships
One or both partners:

The line between unhealthy and abusive relationships is not always clear, but violence of any kind is never acceptable. If you think someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, there are resources available to help.

Chickasaw Nation Domestic Violence Services assists individuals who live in or are relocating within the Chickasaw Nation and are experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Teens can also text LOVEIS to 22522 or visit LoveIsRespect.org to chat with an advocate. Parents or guardians can learn more about the signs of teen dating violence at TeenDVMonth.org.