Friday, February 24, 2012

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

In recent years, concerns have grown over the increasing rate of teen dating violence that unfortunately has become a significant problem in young relationships in our communities. It has become so widespread that 1 in 3 adolescents in the US fall victim to teen dating violence. When teens finally realize they are in danger, they often become too embarrassed or scared to report the abuse. Teen dating violence ranges from emotional and verbal abuse to rape and even murder.

National campaigns to spread awareness of this epidemic hope to make it easy for youth to seek help and to encourage them to prevent and respond to teen dating violence. It is important that awareness is raised so that teens have access to resources where they learn conflict management and problem solving skills. Community and school-based programs to combat teen dating violence have shown promising results. There is hope for our youth to overcome this problem.

Here at CalVCP, we understand that this abuse can cause physical, emotional, and sexual insecurities that carry into adulthood. CalVCP is participating in the campaign to spread awareness of this epidemic and to warn individuals of the long-term behavioral and health consequences. The campaign will help prevent future generations from falling victim to this tragedy, and to treat those experiencing it now.

Learn more about preventing
teen dating violence at
Please become involved this year. Join the campaign to raise awareness of teen dating violence by supporting efforts to encourage young people to develop healthy relationships. Concerned teens, parents, and loved ones should contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or visit to receive immediate and confidential advice and referrals.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Drawing Attention to Teen Dating Violence Prevention in February

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAPM) – a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in youth relationships and mobilize communities to support young people in having safe and healthy relationships. Sadly, just as the month began, Myrna Umanzor, 15, a teen from San Leandro, California was murdered, allegedly by her 19 year old boyfriend, who took his own life the next day. The loss of life in San Leandro is another tragic wakeup call to communities across the state to strengthen efforts to address teen dating violence, also known as dating abuse. During February, thousands across California will engage youth and reach new audiences through Proclamations, educational events, and other efforts. Although we cannot accomplish all of our strategic goals in one short month, these focused efforts will help elevate community understanding of the issues and solutions.

What is dating abuse?

Dating abuse is the use of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or technological abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control a dating partner, regardless of whether that relationship is continuing or has concluded, or the number of interactions between the individuals involved. Dating abuse is associated with a host of adverse outcomes, including truancy, use of alcohol and drugs, eating disorders, depression and suicide. Adolescents and young adults experience the highest degree of intimate violence of any age group, and young women ages 16-24 are most likely to be victimized.

Yet, the distinctive aspects of dating abuse make it one of the most overlooked forms of violence. Many young victims do not recognize warning signs and confuse controlling behaviors as a sign of care. Fear and shame discourage victims from seeking help, and when they do, adults often minimize the potential for harm, unaware of the danger of increasing frequency and severity of abuse over time, and the heightened risk for physical violence during or after a break up.

What you can do
  • Spread the word! Sample TDVAPM Facebook posts and Twitter tweets can be found at
  • Build your knowledge! Online professional learning opportunities during February can be found here.
  • Educate and engage teens and parents! Useful websites with resources can be found at
  • Strengthen partnerships! Year round, we encourage victim service providers to partner with youth, parents, schools, adolescent health and mental health providers, and other stakeholders.
  • Stay Connected! Sign up for the Partnership’s Prevention Digest to stay abreast of teen dating violence prevention projects, resources and opportunities in California.
Finally, if you know of a teen or parent that could benefit from speaking to a caring, well-trained peer advocate, please connect them with the National Dating Abuse Helpline, at 866-331-9474 (TTY: 1-866-331-8453), by texting “loveis” to 77054, or through live chat at

The Partnership's Prevention Program advances effective teen dating violence prevention policies and programs through leadership, advocacy and a statewide network of prevention advocates dedicated to promoting healthy relationships and preventing teen dating violence. For more information, contact Lisa Fujie Parks, Prevention Program Manager, at or 916-444-7163 x117.