Talking to Your Teen: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

By: Jason Jowers, MS, MFT

teen dating
Pixnio [teen dating, July 30, 2017, CC0]
Romantic relationships between teenagers can be tumultuous, passionate, and complicated. Affecting all things such as self-esteem, self-image, peer groups, and family relationships, teen dating is a huge aspect of the teenager experience.

These relationships can also be compounded if violence is taking place between partners. Like situations of domestic violence, it may go unnoticed or willfully hidden by both victim and perpetrator. And like domestic violence, it is not as simple as breaking ties with a partner.

So how do we as professionals work with parents, family members, and friends in helping them to talk to their teen or loved one about dating violence?

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and with that comes lots of resources on ways to talk to teens about this common issue.

Teen DV Resources

The first resource we wanted to share is the Fact Forward 2021 Toolkit for Teen Dating Violence. The toolkit is a quick pdf PowerPoint that provides social media posts, graphics, a discussion guide, and a pledge to help make raising awareness in your community simple. The key piece of this guide is the questions and conversation prompt they share that can facilitate a conversation with your teen.

Next, is This website features how to recognize the signs of teen dating violence, with helpful strategies for young people, parents, and educators. They also have an ongoing blog series that covers topics such as stalking, harassment, setting boundaries, suicide risks, and LGBTQ issues.

We also wanted to share a great website called Love Is Respect, which is really getting the word out and raising awareness about teen dating violence. They have this webpage for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month which includes a 2021 Action Guide. You can also reach a domestic violence advocate 24/7 by texting 22522 with the word “loveis” or by phone at 866.331.9474.

The issue of teen dating violence impacts everyone; not just teens, but their parents, teachers, friends, and communities as well. Together, we can raise the nation’s awareness about teen dating violence and promote safe, healthy relationships.

This post was written by members of the OneOp Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.

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