Teen Dating Violence

According to the 2021 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey “over 71% of women and over 55% of men experienced intimate partner violence (sexual, physical violence and/or stalking) under the age of 25, and 1 in 4 women experience intimate partner violence prior to the age of 18.”

As I think about the increase in teen dating violence and intimate partner violence cases,  I can’t help but think……

If “it takes a village to raise a child” (Numbers 11:1-17), how many more does it take to help a teen out of teen dating violence?  A village means where we work, go to school, play and/or eat with those we know well, those we know casually and those we know intimately.

If we all take a moment to notice others and be willing to ask if they need help, how much better would our world be.  A gym instructor, a cafeteria worker, a salesperson at a clothing shop, the lifeguard at the local pool in the neighborhood.

If we all took a moment to notice, ask and share what we see, would it be easier for teenagers who need help to reach out?  Stop and think the next time you see a teen that is looking down at the ground; does not smile; appears to never be without their partner; not allowed to go anywhere without the girlfriend/boyfriend; appears to be crying and sad a lot; not allowed to say, do, or wear what they want; whose partner answers for them; does not seem happy despite being in a youthful relationship.

If everyone took the time to notice, talk, share, offer advice; how might this world we are in be a better place? How might we all in the village feel loved and cared for, even if our loved ones are not the ones showing us love.  Imagine how resilient teens could be and healthier and happier adults we would have in our new and improved Village!

Resources for youth, advocates and preventionists:

Organizations that can help:

  • Love is Respect.org
  • Suzette Sova, MA, LPC, NCC, is passionate about helping people and assisting them to be the best they can be, using a more holistic approach. Trilingual in English, Spanish and Portuguese, she works with victims and families of domestic violence, trauma survivors and individuals struggling with depression, PTSD, anxiety, Bipolar I and II, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and substance use disorders.

The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of One in Five Minds or Clarity Child Guidance Center. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. One in Five Minds and Clarity Child Guidance Center accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

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