Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn’t mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors of a course of time.
Teen dating violence is more common than many people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults. And nearly half (43%) of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
Every February here at loveisrespect, we bring awareness to teen dating violence in an effort to stop dating abuse before it starts.
What is TDVAM?
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) is held throughout the month of February as a way to bring together teens and those who support them in a national effort to raise awareness to teen dating violence. Organizations and schools across the country organize efforts to raise awareness every February, creating a movement of passionate, informed individuals making a difference.
Every year, we try to think of a new way to build solidarity and support around teen dating abuse. This year, our theme is #1Thing.
Pronounced “One Thing” or “Hashtag One Thing,” this campaign is focused on meeting teens where they are at. By learning one thing about teen dating violence and sharing that with a friend, every person can make a difference. We’re starting at square one together to build healthy relationships from the ground up. By just learning or doing one thing, you can start a conversation about healthy relationships in your friend circles, schools, and communities. Everyone has a part in ending dating abuse, even if that one thing seems small in the moment.
With so many people speaking in one unified voice during the month of February about teen dating violence, this raises our collective awareness about this critical issue. Only through collaboration will it be possible to stop teen dating abuse.
How do I get involved during TDVAM?
We encourage everyone to get involved and help raise awareness. We recognize the power that each one of us has in making a difference. You can visit our landing page to get access to our action guides for ideas on how to get started!
Follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, tag us in your post, and use the hashtags #1Thing and #TDVAM to show us your #1Thing that will raise awareness about teen dating violence.