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February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month!

Have you ever found yourself?

  1. Calling your significant other over and over again to find out what they are doing?
  2. Logging into your significant others social media sites to “check in on them?”
  3. Putting down someone that you love?
  4. Pushing or hitting a loved one?

If you’ve said yes to any of the above, then you could be guilty of committing a form of dating violence against someone that you care about.

We are now living in a world where one in three students report experiencing some form of abuse, and more than 2/3 never report that abuse to a caring adult.  A world where over 80% of school counselors report being unprepared to address incidents of abuse. This tells us – dating abuse isn’t just a big issue. It’s a growing epidemic.

 What Does Dating Violence Look Like?

Teens and young adults experience the same types of abuse in relationships as adults. This can include:

  • Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.
  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any action that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including rape, coercion or restricting access to birth control.
  • Digital Abuse: Use of technologies and/or social media networking to intimidate, harass or threaten a current or ex-dating partner. This could include demanding passwords, checking cell phones, cyber bullying, sexting, excessive or threatening texts or stalking on Facebook or other social media.

So how can you help?

The Floyd Youth Action will be participating in the White Ribbon Campaign! The White Ribbon Campaign is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

Starting in 1991, they asked men to wear white ribbons as a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Since then the White Ribbon has spread to over 60 countries around the world.

  • We are asking young men to change the “man code” to break society’s rules of male conformity and reconsider not just what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a good man.
  • We will have pledge banners at each high school for all students to sign and pledge to end the violence against women during the second week of February.
  • We will also have a text back campaign, so they can pledge by texting the word “love” or “<3” plus their school name to 706-509-0668.
  • The Sexual Assault Center will be passing out Valentine day cards that stress the importance of believing in yourself & loving yourself, and about 100 of these will be passed out at each high school with the message of passing the card along to someone else throughout the day. So spread the LOVE!

Look for us on your local television show “Community Watch” and hear two of our incredible young men from the Floyd Youth Action Team discuss this issue and hear more about their opinion on the topic and how they plan to raise more awareness around this issue!

Community Watch tv pic