Let’s Talk About It: Teen Dating Awareness Month

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Submitted by Salt River Schools

The Safe Schools and Security team at Salt River Schools will host a conversation with SRPMIC Health Educator Vurlene Notsinneh-Bowekaty to discuss healthy teen relationships.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, February 27, from 6-7 p.m. in the Salt River High School Lecture Hall. It is part of the monthly series, Soda with Security, where an important topic is discussed with students and parents. These events are always open to the whole Community. 

Notsinneh-Bowekaty will help guide families through what can sometimes be uncomfortable conversations about what healthy dating relationships look like, how to identify and leave a toxic relationship, and things like appropriate dating age and activities.

Teen dating may not be a parent’s favorite topic, but it’s an important one to discuss, especially considering the prevalence of teen dating violence, which is more common than most families realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen dating violence includes four types of behaviors: physical, sexual, psychological, and stalking. The violence can also occur digitally, such as repeated texting or posting something private online without consent. The CDC states many teens do not report violence when it happens.

February is recognized annually as Teen Dating Awareness Month. For more information about the upcoming Soda with Security event, call the Safe Schools and Security team at 480-362-2563. For more information about preventing teen dating violence, visit www.cdc.gov. 

Learn more about preventing teen dating violence at https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teendatingviolence/fastfact.html.

Teen Dating Violence Statistics

  • Nearly 1 in 11 female and approximately 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year.
  • About 1 in 9 female and 1 in 36 male high school students report having experienced sexual dating violence in the last year.
  • 26 percent of women and 15 percent of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 18.

Teen victims of dating violence are more likely to:

  • Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
  • Exhibit antisocial behaviors, like lying, theft, bullying or hitting think about suicide

How to Prevent Teen Dating Violence

  • Teach safe and healthy relationship skills
  • Engage influential adults and peers
  • Disrupt the development pathways toward partner violence
  • Create protective environments
  • Strengthen economic supports for families
  • Support survivors to increase safety and lessen harms