Monday, February 2, 2015

It’s Time to Talk

By Julie Nauman, VCGCB Executive Officer

For many, February is known as a month for romance and strengthening our relationships. Unfortunately, not all relationships are healthy and for some, including many young people, can be abusive.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, or “teenDVmonth” is a national effort to raise awareness about teen dating violence and abuse. All throughout February, nonprofits, individuals, and organizations come together, sparking a conversation about this unfortunate form of abuse.

As President Barack Obama declared in a presidential proclamation about teenDVmonth, “In a 12-month period, one in 10 high school students nationwide reported they were physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. Still more experienced verbal or emotional abuse like shaming, bullying or threats.”

February 3rd is “It’s Time to Talk Day,” where conversations between teens, parents, and families around the nation will focus on healthy relationships, dating abuse, and domestic violence. You and your friends and family can get involved in teenDVmonth by:

  • Learning more: Visit to take the pledge to talk to your teen, get tips and tools to get the conversation started, and learn how you can stay involved year-round.
  • Joining the nationwide coalition: Make this issue a priority year-round by joining Break the Cycle’s Love Is Not Abuse Coalition. As a member, you will network with other like-minded individuals and learn how to make a difference in your community.
  • Donating a phone: Take your no-longer-used wireless phone and accessories to your local Verizon Wireless store. Your donation will support survivors of domestic violence.
  • Getting help: If you or someone you know has a question about their relationship, just text “loveis” to 22522. You will be immediately connected to a trained advocate from loveisrespect.

Everyone has the right to be in a safe and healthy relationship, and together we can empower our youth to end domestic violence.

Julie Nauman is the Executive Officer for the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB). VCGCB provides compensation for victims of violent crime and helps to resolve claims against the State.