February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Each year in the United States, an estimated 1.5 million teens are intentionally hit or physically harmed in a romantic relationship. Unhealthy and abusive relationships, in some of a child’s most important developmental years, can be a catalyst for issues such as anxiety, depression, and poor self-esteem. Preventative measures and awareness in our community are critical in allowing teens the ability to reach their full potential.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and a unique time to bring light to the issues facing teens in Alaska. To continue the needed awareness, STAR is launching a month-long campaign to “Get LOUD” about teen dating violence. Violence in relationships can take both a physical and emotional form, which is why we want to bring attention not only to abusive relationships but also to unhealthy relationships.
The only way we can begin having community-based conversations on what we can do as parents, teachers, care-takers and family members is to use our most powerful tool – our voice. By increasing familiarity around this issue, we hope that these conversations and tools will enable a safer environment for our kids to express themselves when faced with unhealthy relationship dynamics.
Did you know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys nationally will experience a form of sexual abuse before they turn 18? In Alaska, this number is a lot higher.
In our newest video with Kenai, Parker, and Athena, they speak about common types of sexual abuse and what you can do about them. We encourage you to watch it with your teens to jumpstart conversations about healthy relationships and what it means to give consent. Also, pizza is involved!
Help is Always Available
Trained STAR Crisis Line Responders are ready to take your call 24/7, and they are here to listen without judgement and provide support. Whether you are a Survivor of abuse or a concerned friend or family member of a Survivor, we are here for you. You are not alone.
Talk now, talk often.
Are you a parent of a teen? Do you have a teen in your life that looks to you for support and guidance? The more resources you have to help communicate, the better prepared you both are for the ups and downs of adolescence.
While talking with teens may not always be easy, most parents agree that it is important to have these conversations. The cards below focus on strengthening healthy relationships and connections between youth and adults.
Visit tntoak.org for more information and to request your free set of conversation cards.
Find ways to support your friends and family.