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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
Teen Dating Violence (DV) Awareness Month is a national effort carried on by activists, community leaders, and national and local organizations, to raise awareness about dating abuse, promote programs that support young people, and encourage communities to prevent this form of abuse with the goal of decreasing the prevalence of dating abuse among young people.
The Maricopa Police Department is an early adopter of Bloom365, is a non-profit organization that promotes healthy and safe relationships.The Bloom365 program works to educate teens in a peer-based setting, to cultivate healthy and safe relationships, free of abuse and violence.
So, what IS teen/young adult dating abuse?
The basic definition is that it is a pattern of verbal, emotional and/or physical abuse that is used to gain or maintain power and control over a dating partner. However, in reality it is a much more complex issue.
Young adult dating violence is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation.
Did you know?
- Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
- One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Why focus on young people?
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
- The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
So, how do we work to prevent this?
Preventing unhealthy and abusive relationships starts with education. Get help, Learn the warning signs of dating violence, and start talking. The best way to promote healthy relationships is to start talking about them.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abusive behaviors, the National Teen Dating Violence Hotline is always available. Call 1-866-331-9474, or text "loveis" to 22522.