Two thirds of teenagers in abusive dating relationships never tell anyone about the abuse, so it is no surprise that many parents are unaware of the high rate of teen dating violence in this country, or don’t think it is an issue in their lives.
Similarly, most parents believe they would recognize signs if their child was in an abusive dating relationship.
Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship.
However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.
The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.
Often, from our perspective, these hot and heavy love affairs are like fireworks. At best, we’re talking about students distracted from learning.
Many more teens are in relationships that, if not exactly like Rihanna and Chris Brown, are nonetheless unequal and unhealthy with one partner dominating the other. Let me see your phone,” mimics Maryland high school teacher Erika Chavarria. What contemporary media presents to teens and tweens as “love” today is actually about sex and control.And this month is the perfect time to get educated: February is Teen Dating Violence (DV) Awareness Month.The theme for Teen DV Month 2016 is “Love = Setting Boundaries,” and specific resources around that theme are available on the loveisrespect website, including a Love Is Respect guide and information about February webinars and Twitter chats.At worst, we’re remembering the teen who retired Ohio teacher Deloris Rome Hudson will never forget: The one strangled to death by her boyfriend, one month before her high school graduation. And that can happen from the youngest grades on up, when we help students understand what a healthy relationship looks like, and know that they deserve that instead.Today’s educators need to be alert to the signs of teen dating abuse. Learning how to develop and maintain positive relationships is part of the social and emotional learning that keeps us all safe and happy—and leads to academic success.Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.