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Thursday, 5 February 2015

February Is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

A young woman terrified by a boyfriend who had recently become violent thought she had nowhere to turn for help. Feeling alone and afraid to break up with him, she finally reached out to a trained peer advocate at loveisrespect to find out what to do. The compassionate expert helped the teen create a plan to safely exit the relationship when she was ready. She showed the teen the importance of letting people at home know what was going on and guided the young woman on how to initiate a conversation with her mother about the abuse. Before ending the conversation with the advocate, the teen felt empowered and was on her way to having an honest discussion with her mom. Every day, 365 days a year, peer advocates at loveisrespect talk, text and chat online with young adults who are seeking help with unhealthy, verbally abusive and physically violent relationships.

Studies show one in three teens in the United States will experience physical abuse from a dating partner. During 2014, advocates at loveisrespect, a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and Break the Cycle, received 85,261 calls, texts and online chats for help with dating abuse. A record 2.1 million unique visitors turned to loveisrespect.org for information about healthy versus unhealthy relationships.
During February, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM), loveisrespect advocates, staff and sponsors are inviting teens, parents, educators and anyone interested in learning more about the prevention and end of teen dating abuse to participate in a national conversation about the issue. loveisrespect will post informative blogs about teen dating violence on its website, loveisrespect.org, host numerous Twitter chats using #LIRAsks and offer relationship tips on the loveisrespect Facebook page.  

loveisrespect advocates hope that those affected by unhealthy relationships seek to better understand the problem that affects so many in the U.S. today, regardless of gender, income, ethnicity or education. The key to abuse prevention is education including understanding the red flags that indicate a relationship could become unhealthy. It takes a community effort and open dialogue among teens and those who care about them to end teen dating violence.

The following teen dating violence experts representing loveisrespect are available to participate in media interviews during TDVAM:
  • Katie Ray-Jones, Chief Executive Officer, National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Amy S├ínchez, Chief Executive Officer, Break the Cycle
  • Brian Pinero, Chief Programs Officer, National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect
  • Cameka Crawford, Chief Communications Officer, National Domestic Violence Hotline
For more information on TDVAM events and activities taking place during February, please visit: http://www.loveisrespect.org/get-ready-teen-dv-month

About loveisrespect
loveisrespect is the ultimate resource to engage, educate and empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse.  It is a project of Break the Cycle and the National Domestic Violence Hotline where highly trained peer advocates offer free phone, text and chat services to young people 24/7/365. Teens and young adults can find help and information about dating abuse and healthy versus unhealthy relationships through this national resource by ¹texting "loveis" to 22522 or calling 1-866-331-9474 or visiting loveisrespect.org.  A National Youth Advisory Board guides its efforts by providing input on loveisrespect.org, writing blogs for the site, hosting events to raise awareness across the country and generally empowering other young people to take action.  To learn more, visit www.loveisrespect.org

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SOURCE The National Domestic Violence Hotline
RELATED LINKS
http://www.loveisrespect.org
http://www.thehotline.org

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