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Teen DV Month 2015

Blog post

February is the start of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. There are many great activities and social media campaigns that are happening throughout the month. I am very excited about the Partnership’s campaign :) #relationshipsfeel. Each week will be a different theme around healthy relationships.

Teen DV Month has been gaining more attention in past few years. I love that it not only focuses on bringing attention to the issue of adolescent dating abuse and services domestic violence organizations offer, Teen DV Month campaigns incorporation significant messages about prevention and healthy relationships. Everyone can participate in Teen DV Month activities:

You can start your prevention work by promoting the Partnership’s Teen DV Month Campaign!

The theme for week 1 is :) #relationshipsfeel supportive. I think every person can list examples of what it means to support their partner but the question we should be asking ourselves is how can we support adolescents to be in healthy relationships? We have numerous resources to help us respond when we see red flags but how do we respond when we see good things happening in a relationship?

Being supportive of healthy adolescent relationships is not simply teaching young people about the red flags, it is about going beyond that to celebrate and uplift the healthy and strong relationships that are being developed. What would it look like for schools to be supportive of healthy adolescent relationships? How can domestic violence organizations support healthy adolescent relationships?

There are many ways schools and domestic violence organizations can be supportive of healthy adolescent relationships. I think that a great start to being supportive is to listen and take seriously the experiences of adolescents. As adults we can be quick to dismiss adolescent relationships as not being serious or “real” relationships, especially when adolescents don’t always use the terms we use (dating vs. hanging out or hooking up).When we take relationships seriously we can be in the role of supporting the healthy skills being developed. Adolescent dating relationships are important. We know that abusive relationships impact student learning and future relationships. When schools take adolescent dating relationships seriously they are more likely to recognize the need for schools to take an active role in supporting healthy relationships. The foundation of supporting healthy adolescent relationships needs to begin with the recognition of the importance of adolescent relationships.