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Monday, February 4, 2013

February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, I am giving the Kindle edition of my book "Because He Said He Loved Me: A short story about teen dating violence" away for free today. The reason being is because there is a message in this story that I want to get out to teens and there is even a message for adults. The teen years are the most prevalent years, it is when teens first start dating. For most teens, this is the time when they first experience feelings of love, when they first feel that they are cared for by the opposite sex. These are also some of the hardest times for teens. Teens experience so many changes and it when it comes to relationships a lot of what they experience will be new to them and they may think it is normal.

Here are some statistics on Teen Dating Violence Via LoveisRespect.org


  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • One quarter of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse
  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence -- almost triple the national average.
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
  • About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating"
  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys
  • Eight states currently do not include dating relationships in their definition of domestic violence. As a result, young victims of dating abuse often cannot apply for restraining orders.
  • New Hampshire is the only state where the law specifically allows a minor of any age to apply for a protection order; more than half of states do not specify the minimum age of a petitioner.
  • Currently only one juvenile domestic violence court in the country focuses exclusively on teen dating violence.
  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • Eighty one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
  • A teen’s confusion about the law and their desire for confidentiality are two of the most significant barriers stopping young victims of abuse from seeking help.
I would encourage you to talk to the teens that are in your lives, read the book or use it as a discussion, pass it along to someone. Teens are less likely to turn to the adults in their lives when they are experience dating abuse for fear of being judged. I cannot express how important it is to let your teens know that it is safe and okay for them to talk to you, they will only talk to you if they feel comfortable. Be involved in your teens life, know who they are dating, know their partners parents and/or family, know the kind of friends your teens have and most importantly know your teen. It is important to know your teen as well as the signs of dating violence because you will better be able to tell when something is going on with your teen. They will start to change but you have to be able to see it. 

If you are a teen that is reading this please talk to someone. There are people out there who love and care for you, you are beautiful and/or handsome you do not deserve to be treated badly. Don't let anyone make you feel ugly or bad about yourself and don't let anyone deter you from your dreams.

Because He Said He Loved Me is a very SHORT story, it can probably be read in a day but it does carry a powerful message. It may not be written perfectly but the message is perfectly clear and if you are a survivor like I am, it will probably touch you. Lets raise awareness together!