Teens and young adults often feel their relationships are minimized and can easily be written off as “puppy love” by the trusted adults in their lives. However, the 2019 CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated that about 1 in 12 U.S. high school students had experienced physical or sexual dating violence in the previous 12 months. These percentages increase when focused in on LGBTQ+ relationships to about 1 in 3 queer teens reporting some form of relationship violence. Of the teens who reported being in an abusive relationship, only about 32% said they discussed it with their parents. Further, a staggering 81% of parents reported they either did not know or did not think teen dating violence was a significant issue. These statistics paint a clear picture: teen dating violence is extremely prevalent and is often not being talked about or taken seriously by adults.
At Through These Doors we’re proud of the discussions we’ve been able to have with teens and young adults across Cumberland County through our Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program (YAAPP) as well as partnering with local organizations like the Preble St Teen Center and Portland Public Library. This month, two of our educator advocates will be present at Portland Public Library for a “Snack Chat” with any teens who are interested on February 14th! This is great opportunity to connect with young adults about healthy relationships, consent and boundaries, and anything else that they want to talk through with an advocate.
If you’re a parent or teen interested in more information on TDVAM, please feel free to call our 24hr confidential helpline at 1-800-537-6066 to talk with a live advocate and check out these additional resources below:
- One Love
- Text message – Get in touch with a peer advocate by texting “LOVEIS” to 22522. You will receive an immediate response from a peer advocate who will help you find solutions to your situation.
- Voice call- When you call 1-866-331-9474, a peer advocate will first ask if you are in a safe place to talk. Once you are, they will ask you to explain your situation and provide support and education.
- Guide for adults in talking with youth about healthy relationships.
- Love Is Respect
- SPARC (Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resources Center
Fast Facts: Preventing Teen Dating Violence |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC
Prevalence of Teen Dating Violence | Youth.gov
That’s Not Cool – Futures Without Violence Futures Without Violence