Teen Dating Violence — Let’s Talk About It
This February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) and the 2022 national theme is Talk About It. At Hope House, our education team talks to middle and high school students throughout the year about healthy dating relationships, warning signs of abuse, and how to get support for yourself or a loved one. While we talk about it frequently… teens and the people in their lives are often not having these types of conversations. 80% of teenagers think verbal abuse is a serious issue for people their age, and only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse (statistics via One Love).
For TDVAM this year, One Love suggests inviting students to share what is and what isn’t love by using the hashtags, #ThatsLove #ThatsNotLove.
Some quick tweet-size examples from Hope House (that you are free to share, or to accompany these posts with art you’ve made that go along with the topic!) :
· Asking before acting and respecting the answer #ThatsLove
· Pressuring, guilting, manipulating, or forcing your partner to do something they aren’t comfortable with. #ThatsNotLove
· Respecting how your partner chooses to identify and express themselves. #ThatsLove
· Asking about topics that interest your partner and listening when they talk about those topics. #ThatsLove
· Your partner putting down or making hurtful comments about you, your friends, your interests, or your hobbies #ThatsNotLove
· Encouraging and supporting your partner #ThatsLove
· Your partner telling you you’re too sensitive, you’re making things up, or calling you crazy when you express concern about how they treat you. #ThatsNotLove
We hope that you’ll share these examples or your own ideas of #ThatsLove and #ThatsNotLove on your social media accounts to start normalizing conversations around teen dating violence and as a conversation starter with the teens in your life. If you are a teen, you can use these as a way to start conversations with your friends, family or maybe even someone you love who you are concerned about.
Another way to start a conversation, and show your support for those experiencing dating violence, is to wear orange on February 8th — a day to bring awareness to teen dating violence, through our orange outfits! For more tips on how to show support for the teens in your life this February, visit, Love is Respect’s February events calendar and check out their Action Guide.
Hope House wants you to know that everyone deserves to be respected and valued in their relationships. If you or someone you know has been impacted by dating violence, you can contact Hope House at our 24/7 confidential helpline: 1–800–584–6790. Advocates are here to listen, believe, provide support and resources, plan for your safety, talk through your options, help you prepare to tell others if you’d like, and discuss ways to take care of yourself. You can learn more about our free services at www.hopehousescw.org or on Facebook and Instagram @hopehousescw.
By Sarah Campbell, Youth Advocate/Educator
Hope House of South Central Wisconsin