February is Dating Violence Awareness Month
Healthy relationships are built on mutual love, respect, and trust. Unfortunately, some relationships can become unhealthy, or even violent. When we think of intimate partner violence, we may think of violence happening within a marriage, but teens and young adults experience intimate partner violence, too. For young adults, an intimate relationship is a step above platonic friendship that usually includes a significant emotional attachment. It can happen to anyone, in any relationship, whether that relationship is casual or serious.
Dating violence is a big deal --1.5 million teens are abused by intimate partners in the US every year. This abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, financial, sexual, or spiritual. Even though this problem is so widespread, only a third of teens ever disclose the abuse. Additionally, violent relationships during teenage years put teens at higher risk of substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and further domestic violence down the line.
Dating Violence Resources
Nobody wants to think that the young people in our congregations and communities could be experiencing dating violence. And we make it harder to disclose if we never acknowledge that dating violence is an issue. This month is the perfect opportunity to speak up about dating violence and spread awareness. Safe Havens has developed some resources to help faith leaders do just that.
Below are links for a Dating Violence Awareness Month Flyer (also shown above) and a newsletter article. Faith communities can publish either or both in their bulletins, on their websites, or on their social media. There is also a dating violence resource developed by Safe Havens specifically for faith communities. Click on the buttons below to download these resources.
Thank you for your help in raising awareness about dating violence!