February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Tonya Lee
  • JBSA-Randolph Violence Prevention Integrator

Dating is a normal part of life that many experience for the first time as a teenager or young adult.

Healthy relationships require hard work, communication, and a level of maturity that may be complex for our youth to navigate. As a result, approximately one-third of teens and young adults’ relationships are characterized as unhealthy or violent.

Understanding dating violence, recognizing the risk factors and warning signs are the first steps in prevention.

Teen/young adult dating violence includes physical, psychological, sexual abuse, harassment, or stalking in a person between the ages of 12 and 18, including past, present, romantic or consensual relationships.

During February, advocates across the United States stand in solidary against interpersonal violence among our teens and young adults.

February is dedicated to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, or TDVAM, a month-long effort to raise awareness about dating abuse and to increase the protective factors which help stop the abuse before it occurs.

This year’s TDVAM campaign theme is “Talk About It,” which calls for teens, young adults, family, and friends to engage in meaningful conversation about healthy relationships to better understand the signs of unhealthy and/or abusive relationships.

Open and honest conversations with peers and loved ones are essential to feeling safe and supported. Talking about healthy relationships and recognizing warning signs should not be a conversation only held at home. These conversations would be in our classrooms, dorm rooms, youth centers, churches, and anywhere our youth spend their time.

The Joint Base San Antonio community is hosting several events during the month of February to share resources, information, and tools to “Talk About It” and create positive, nonjudgmental, and caring spaces for all young people.

Together with shared experiences, people can be empowered to take the time to talk and begin the healing process.

Throughout February

  • Jeans for Teens Drive: Collection boxes will be placed at JBSA chapels.
  • Informational Booths: Tables displays/banners/ribbons at JBSA middle and high schools. Educational materials and other awareness items will be given out to teens/youth.

Feb. 2
Mental Health and First Aid Youth Training (For Adults): Training from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., limited to 20 people. Call 210-652-0187 for more information.

Feb. 15
In Their Shoes – Teen and Dating Violence Classroom Edition: Texas Advocacy in Austin will host engaging conversations about dating violence and healthy relationships. Topics cover sexting, pregnancy, homophobia, and stalking. The session is at 4:15 p.m. at the JBSA-Randolph Youth Center. Call 210-652-3298 for more information.