I recently participated in It’s Time to Talk Day – a day for focusing on the issue of teen dating abuse hosted by Liz Claiborne and loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. I was really excited to be invited, but before taking part, I spent some time researching dating abuse and domestic violence. Though I knew it was an important issue before, I found some statistics at www.loveisrespect.org that surprised me. Did you know that 1 in 5 teenswho have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner? But it’s not just physical abuse - 1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family. When you put it that way, it’s easy to see that dating abuse probably effects someone in your life, whether you know it or not.
I hope you’ll take the time to visit the newly updated loveisrespect.org for info on dating abuse and healthy relationships, quizzes, the Teen Dating Bill of Rights, and if you need it, a direct link to live chat with a peer advocate. Please take the time to educate yourself. Even if you’re not in an abusive relationship, you may be able to help a friend or family member.
*I’m featured in a new PSA for loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. Watch for it!