POMEROY — The Meigs County Commissioners issued a resolution on Thursday recognizing February as Nation Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and asking the public to wear orange on Feb. 13 to help raise awareness.
The theme for this year is “Break the Cycle-Healthy Me, Healthy We! A journey of self-love, strength, and positively.”
Meigs County Victim Assistance Program Advocate Alexis Schwab presented the commissioners with information and statistics on teen dating violence, and encouraged parents to talk to their children about the issue.
Schwab stated that according to TeenDVmonth.org, teen dating violence is defined as physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional/psychological abuse between teenage partners. Teens who abuse their dating partners are more likely to grow up and evolve into adult domestic abusers. Domestic violence is a serious crime and can have criminal consequences, loss of custody, and serious civil damages. One in ten teenagers involved in romantic relationships report being “kissed, touched, or physically forced” to have sexual relations against their will by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors in an effort to cope with the abuse. Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to:
- Do poorly in school
- Engage in sexually promiscuous behavior
- Begin smoking
- Turn to illicit drugs to escape reality
- Drink heavily
- Get into physical fights
- Attempt suicide
Victims of abuse are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors and abusers are more likely to hurt others in the future. We encourage you to take a few moments this February to talk about these important issues with your teens, listen for signs that they may be affected by teen dating violence, and let them know that you are there for them.
According to loveisrespect.org, each year, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. At a rate far higher than other forms of violence, teen dating violence impacts 1 in 3 adolescents in the United States through physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse.
We encourage you to wear orange on February 13, 2018 in honor of teen dating violence awareness month. Spread the awareness by telling people why you are wearing orange. Post pictures to social media and use hashtags #Orange4Love #HandsUnite
Take steps to make a difference:
- Be a role model — treat your kids and others with respect.
- Start talking to your kids about healthy relationships early – before they start dating.
- Get involved with efforts to prevent dating violence at your teen’s school.
- If you are worried about your teen, call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.
If you or someone you know who is in an abusive relationship, free and confidential help is available 24 hours a day through the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474.
Information and statistics provided by the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program.