Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
February is Teen Violence Dating Awareness Month, and the Clinic is dedicated to bringing awareness to this very prevalent issue. Teen dating violence is domestic violence. Teen dating violence is a pattern of behavior that includes physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual abuse by one person in an intimate relationship to exert power and control over another. Relationship violence can occur at school — in the hall, in the classroom, in the parking lot, on the bus or in a car, at after-school activities, at a student’s workplace, at a school dance, or at a student’s home. In teenage dating relationships, the abuse is often public with peers witnessing the abuse; however, the abuse can also occur in private.
It is fitting to think of February as a month of love, but what most may not realize is that it is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. It is important to educate teens about what is and is not a healthy relationship.
Some signs to watch for include:
- Intensity - a relationship that develops extremely fast
- Control or jealousy
- Changes in Dress
- Drastic behavior changes
- Constant communication with significant other
- Ramifications for not responding in a timely manner
Help to raise awareness about teen dating violence and stop the abuse before it begins. This month we come together to raise awareness through advocacy and education to stop abuse before it starts. Need to know how to talk to your teen? Got questions of your own? Be in touch with NSLAC at info@NSLegalAid.org or 847 737 4042. All inquiries are strictly confidential. Love shouldn't hurt.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Initiatives
Cover the Cases
While NSLAC provides free legal aid to anyone at risk, cases do have costs associated with them. The Student Board seeks to underwrite NSLAC cases that involve teens with the goal of raising $5,000 during the month of February. You can support The Student Board TDVAM campaign HERE.
Episode 3 of the Clinic's Podcast "Shouting from the Rooftops: Destigmatizing Domestic Violence" features high school students in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Rebecca Weininger of the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic interviews students on the Clinic’s Regional Student Leadership Board about the experience of dating in high school. This Student Board is composed of students from eight Chicagoland high schools who come together throughout the school year to learn about advocating for those in need. In this episode, Liv, Ela, and Noah shared their honest opinions about their experience as teenagers and dating in high school. Insights were drawn surrounding first experiences dating and sex education in high school that can be helpful to both adults and teenagers in similar circumstances. We are collecting as many voices as possible and not any one of these guests is the sole voice of their community.