Dating Violence Awareness Month – Starting the Conversation at Home
Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness about the impacts of dating abuse and encourage communities to support teens and young adults in seeking healthy relationships. Though these conversations are important to have year-round, February gives us the opportunity to shine a light on dating abuse and inspire conversations about healthy relationships in order to stop violence before it starts.
Youth are constantly receiving message about relationships – from TV shows, music, movies, social media, and their peers. With the passing of Senate Bill 9 during the past legislative session – which requires public schools to provide education about dating violence, sexual violence, and child abuse – youth are gaining the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships while they are in school.
While adults cannot control all of the messaging youth take in about relationships, they can make a difference in ensuring that youth learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors from adults at home.
Have conversations about how they want to be treated in a relationship and how they want to treat someone else.
Highlight the importance of consent, boundaries, and mutual respect in their relationships.
Model the behaviors in your interactions in the home so they can see healthy relationship behaviors in action.
If you need support in getting these conversations started, you can find more resources to share with youth and young adults on our resources page.
Even though no relationship is perfect, your relationships should make you feel good – building you up instead of tearing you down. It should make you feel happy, safe, and supported, and abuse should never be a part of it. If you or someone you know is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, and is seeking help or support, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat with an advocate through love is respect by texting LOVEIS to 22522. If you are in the Hays/Caldwell county area, call HCWC at 512-396-HELP(4357)
Kiara is a full-time cat lady with a passion for social justice. At HCWC, she is the Primary Prevention Coordinator – facilitating conversations with adolescents and adults on fostering healthier relationships and ways to make the world a safer, more equitable place. Kiara is a proud alum of Texas State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Sociology. Her passions include social change, youth activism, LGBTQ activism, and crafting. She doesn’t like taking pictures, but she does love Bitmojis.