Many of us might not realize but adult women are not the only ones who experience dating violence, teenagers do to. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and we all need to collaborate to raise awareness by educating ourselves and children because this is something that can happen to anyone.
Since we live a society that is male dominated, men are expected to be tough and authoritarian while women are expected to be submissive and vulnerable. People tend to think that it is a natural thing but it all learned behavior. It is very important for parents to speak with their children about teen dating violence even before they begin dating. According to the statistics, teenage girls are much more likely to experience dating violence and the younger you speak to them about it, the more possibility their is of preventing it. However, parents should talk to both their boys and girls because society tends to socialize young boys into thinking that women are less than men.
It is always good to be aware of what type of relationship we are in and to know of where or who we can call in case we find ourselves in a similar situation. I encourage everyone to take the “Healthy Relationship Quiz” so that you can know what type of relationship you are currently in. Also, we should all educate ourselves on how we can help a friend just in case they are ever in an unhealthy relationship.
Parents most definitely should educate themselves so that they can provide information for their young children. Surveys have shown that many parents do not believe that teen dating violence exists. If parents continue to lack awareness of this issue, then how are children going to be aware? Parents are a crucial part in their child’s education and the more they are involved and provide them with resources and accurate information the risk of teen dating violence lowers. Parents need to be aware and make their children aware about the warning signs of an abusive relationships. Children should begin to be educated about healthy relationships around the age of 10 because surveys have shown that abusive relationships begin around the age of 11. It is best to prepare your children instead of waiting until your child comes to you, because 2 out of 3 children don’t report their abusive relationships which means they might not ever tell you. If you are a parent and are unsure of how to help your child click here.
So now, I would like everyone to collaborate this month and do something to raise awareness about teen dating violence. Whether it is at school, work, church, or your own family members and children in your life, talk to them and make them aware that this can happen to anyone. In order to create change we all need to chip in and just by talking to your family and if they pass it on, is a start.