To The Daily Sun,
According to Women's Health magazine, over 80 percent of parents surveyed either do not believe that teen dating violence is an issue, or do not know if it is an issue. I'm here to tell all of those parents, along with students, teachers, friends, and community members — it is.
Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. That number does not take into account unreported cases of abuse, male victims, or cases of verbal and emotional abuse that teen girls and boys face in dating relationships every single day.
Some local high school students believe it is okay for a partner to yell at, intimidate, degrade, and isolate them, as long as they do not put their hands on them. Let's challenge those beliefs by teaching teens in our communities that they deserve love and respect in all of their relationships.
This year's Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month theme is "Setting Boundaries." Let's work together to encourage teens to think about what they are comfortable with, and empower them to set physical, emotional, and communication boundaries in their relationships. By giving teens the tools they need to set these boundaries and recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships, we will be one step closer to breaking the cycle of abuse.
New Beginnings, along with crisis centers throughout the state, will be providing resources and information regarding Teen Dating Violence during the month of February. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NewBeginningsNH and follow us on Twitter @NewBeginningsNH to follow our "fact a day" and learn more about Teen Dating Violence. You can find more resources at www.loveisrespect.org and pledge to help end domestic and sexual violence in New Hampshire at www.nhsaysnomore.org.
Let's work together as a community to prevent relationship violence by educating our teens. Let's talk to them about what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like, and let's help them learn that they are worthy of kindness, compassion, and respect in all of their relationships.
If you or someone you know needs support please contact New Beginnings at (603) 528-6511.
Education Coordinator & Prevention Educator
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