The Importance of Openly Discussing Dating Relationships

February 17, 2022

The month of February is recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This campaign was created to raise awareness among teenagers and their parents about the dangers of dating violence.  

The teenage years can be scary. Studies show that one in three adolescents experience some form of abuse—emotional, mental, or physical—within a dating relationship.

Adolescence is a time of independence and development that is distinctly different from childhood and adulthood. It is vital that parents and guardians openly discuss dating relationships with their children to encourage understanding and awareness.

How to Help

Abuse can be difficult to talk about, but it must be discussed to be stopped. Teenagers may be hesitant to discuss this uncomfortable topic, but understanding is a step toward prevention. Simply being aware of possible abuse indicators is one way to help keep teenagers safe. 

Warning Signs of Abuse

  • Checking your phone without permission
  • Jealousy and insecurity 
  • Degrading you
  • Isolating you
  • Harsh outbursts and mood swings
  • Physical harm
  •  Possessiveness
  • Non-consensual sex

No person should have to endure any form of abuse. This list does not include all indicators of abuse but being aware of these few could save you or a loved one from suffering harm. 

February is a month of having discussions, sharing experiences and ending teenage dating violence. 

If you are a teenager or parent of a teenager who may be in an unhealthy relationship, and you would like to confidentially speak to someone about the situation, please call the 24-hour Prairie View mental health crisis line at 800-362-0180. To schedule an appointment, call 800-992-6292 for more information. 

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