The month of February is designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Dubois County Prosecutor Anthony Quinn says during the period and beyond parents are encourage to establish healthy relationships for their children by talking to them about friendships, dating, self-respect and respect for others.
Quinn says with February being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, caregivers should be aware that bruises or broken bones aren’t the only form of abuse children may experience in friendships and dating.
Abuse is also verbal, emotional, physical, sexual or digital hurt and Quinn says all care givers need to speak to children specifically about giving and getting respect in their relationships with others.
Quinn suggests parents tell their children that health relationships are open and honest and that partners must respect each other’s individuality and share feelings without negative consequences.
He says relationships where partners don’t respect each other’s boundaries lead to dating and domestic violence.
Some typical forms of abuse include:
Name-calling, insults or put-downs in public or in private
Verbal, written or other threats of violence
Isolating a friend or dating partner from other friends and family.
Sexual coercion or forced sexual activities
And stalking, harassment or monitoring.
Quinn says one of the most important actions a parent or care-giver can take is to keep the lines of communication open with children.
Tell your children, if they don’t want to do something within their relationship, they should feel safe to say so.
For more information, talk to the National Domestic Violence Hotline/Dating Abuse Helpline by texting “loveis” to 22522 or call 866-331-9474.
More information can also be found through www.loveisrespect.org or www.breakthecycle.org.