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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness of teen dating violence and helping youth establish healthy relationships.

Teen dating violence is aggressive, threatening, and/or manipulative behaviour from a partner in a romantic or sexual relationship, and is more prevalent in Canada than many expect. 20% of Canadian teens report being victimized by physical dating violence, 9% report sexual violence, 35% report emotional and psychological violence, and 10-30% of Canadian teens report being victimized by cyber dating violence.

Perpetrating and being victimized by teen dating violence is related to negative short- and long-term outcomes, putting adolescents at risk for a wide number of physical, mental, and social health problems, including increased anxiety, depression, and suicidality. Involvement in teen dating violence during adolescence also puts youth at risk of involvement in future relationship violence.

As few as 8% of adolescents who experience dating violence reach out to parents, teachers, health care practitioners, or other adults who can help. However, education, awareness, and early intervention can help youth break the cycle of dating violence. Research shows that youth may be more likely to communicate with adults about their dating relationships if those adults have received training about teen dating violence. Educators and parents can play a critical role in promoting awareness and healthy relationships.

PREVNet (Promoting Relationships & Eliminating Violence Network) is a national network of leading researchers and organizations working together to stop bullying in Canada. Now, PREVNet is leveraging their healthy relationships expertise to build and grow a Community of Practice with 21 dedicated research projects and a National Youth Advisory Council directed at reducing teen dating violence. PREVNet’s teen dating violence Community of Practice is bringing together researchers and national organizations to build research capacity, assess teen dating violence problems and promote evidence-based programs and effective policies across Canada to address and reduce teen dating violence. Check out the NEW Addressing Youth Dating Violence website at youthdatingviolence.prevnet.ca.

This February, PREVNet will be sharing evidence-based resources and information to raise awareness and build knowledge about teen dating violence and building healthy relationships. Join the conversation using #TDVAM and #PREVTDV on social media. Together, we can spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts.

© 2019 PREVNet. Tous droits réservés.