Hays, KS; Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) is dedicated to raising awareness about healthy-and-unhealthy relationships, common warning signs, and prevention efforts. According to data from the CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, about 1 in 12 high school students experienced physical or sexual dating violence during the 12 months before the survey was administered. These pre-teen and teen years are the most crucial time for youth to begin learning the skills necessary to create and maintain healthy relationships (CDC, 2019).
We at Jana’s Campaign believe through primary prevention education programs we can change and improve attitudes, behaviors, interactions, and social norms for young people. Since 2013, our Violence Prevention Educators have worked with over 647 middle and high schools impacting almost 86,000 K-12 students in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. We commend these schools for understanding the importance of talking to their students about healthy-and-unhealthy relationships.
Jana’s Campaign recognizes Teen Dating Violence (TDV) as a prevalent public health issue affecting millions of adolescents around the world. This not only affects youth mentally, emotionally, and physically; but their long-term health can be impacted. TDV creates a significantly increased risk of disordered eating, anxiety, stress symptoms and depression, suicidal ideation and/or attempts, smoking, alcohol and drug use, and an overall diminished emotional well-being.
Teen Dating Violence can include four main types of unhealthy behavior:
To do our part in raising awareness of TDV, Jana’s Campaign has developed a Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit to help communities better understand, prevent, and respond to instances of TDV. The toolkit is free and can be found on the Jana’s Campaign website, www.janascampaign.org/awarenesstoolkits.html. Additionally, we will post facts and statistics about TDV on our social media accounts throughout February.
Although February is dedicated to TDV awareness, this issue does not contain itself to just one month. It continues to be a pervasive issue experienced by young people in every community. We all must do our part to educate ourselves and others about the realities of TDV and its widespread impact – not just today, but every day.
Please join us in our efforts to educate and raise awareness about the, sometimes hidden, social disease of gender and relationship violence. Learn more about TDV, our Awareness Toolkit, and Jana’s Campaign at www.janascampaign.org or by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you are interested in inviting Jana’s Campaign expert Prevention Educators to speak at your school or in your community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 785-656-0324.