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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. 40% of grade 10 girls and 32% of grade 10 boys report being victimized in their dating relationships. 34% of girls in grade 10 and 19% of boys in grade 9 report emotional dating violence victimization, 20% of girls and 17% of boys report being cyber-victimized by their dating partner (source: The Health of Canadian Youth: Findings from the health behaviour in school-aged children study).

Perpetrating and being victimized by youth 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 youth dating violence during adolescence also puts youth at risk of involvement in future relationship violence.

Adolescents experiencing dating violence may not want to 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 youth dating violence. Educators and parents can play a critical role in promoting awareness and healthy relationships.

PREVNet’s Community of Practice for Addressing Youth Dating Violence is bringing together researchers and organizations across Canada to build research capacity, assess youth dating violence problems and promote evidence-based programs and effective policies. This February, PREVNet will be sharing evidence-based resources and information on healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships with help from our National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC).

In 2020, the NYAC worked together to create these three posters addressing important youth relationship topics. The posters will be sent to select schools across Canada and shared on PREVNet’s social media accounts.

View the Posters:

  • Building Healthy Relationships [EN FR]
  • 8 Warning Signs of Unhealthy Relationships [EN FR]
  • How to Ask for Help [EN FR]

Additional Information:

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, join the conversation using #TDVAM on social media. Together, we can spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts.

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