Trigger warning: This article discusses dating violence and abusive relationships. If you, or someone you know, needs help, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline and LoveIsrespect for information, resources, and 24/7 live support.
In the United States, one in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional and/or verbal abuse from a romantic partner. That figure not only far exceeds other types of youth violence, according to Cameka Crawford, chief communications officer at The Hotline, but is even higher than the rate of dating violence experienced by adults (one in four women and one in seven men).
By the time women enter college, nearly half (43 percent) have experienced some form of dating abuse. “That’s alarming,” Crawford tells A Plus. “… The time is now to speak up. This is happening far too often in our country.”
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM), with its main event “Respect Week,” taking place on February 12 to 16. The day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, those interested in raising awareness can wear orange in solidarity with survivors of dating violence.