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"More than half of women (69.55) who have been physically or sexually abused, or stalked by a dating partner, first experienced abuse between the ages of 11-24 years old" (BreaktheCycle Dating Abuse Statistics)."Dating violence can happen to any teen in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship, anytime, anywhere. But it doesn't have to happen at all" (CDC).As defined on the Break the Cycle website (2018), "Dating abuse (also known as dating violence, intimate partner violence, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of abusive behaviors -- usually a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time -- used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control. Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner." The types of abuse are the same as identified for adult domestic violence/sexual assault/stalking (i.e. financial, digital, verbal, etc.). Some common warning signs include:
During the month of February, please show your support for this year's national theme: "Healthy Me, Healthy We! A journey of self-love, positivity, and strength" by spreading the word about teen dating violence crimes. You can host prevention event/talks in your community or join in the Wear Orange 4 Love Day held on the second Tuesday of each February (2.13.18) and was started by the National Youth Advisory Board from loveisrespect.org to raise awareness about teen dating abuse.The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) along with other nationally recognized organizations (ex. LoveisRespect or Break the Cycle) have a multitude of resources available including a Healthy Relationship quiz, event suggestions, etc. towards addressing these crimes. Please review their websites for more information.If immediate assistance is required, please review the JCC AVAW webpages or contact your local law enforcement agency.